noun (1)
\ ˈtən How to pronounce ton (audio) \
plural tons also ton

Definition of ton

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of various units of weight:
2 : a great quantity : lot ate tons of cookies has tons of money a ton of work to do
3a : a unit of internal capacity for ships equal to 100 cubic feet

called also register ton

b : a unit approximately equal to the volume of a long ton weight of seawater used in reckoning the displacement of ships and equal to 35 cubic feet
c : a unit of volume for cargo freight usually reckoned at 40 cubic feet

called also measurement ton


noun (2)
\ ˈtōⁿ How to pronounce ton (audio) \

Definition of ton (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the prevailing fashion : vogue
2 : the quality or state of being smart or fashionable

First Known Use of ton

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

Noun (2)

1756, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ton

Noun (1)

Middle English tunne unit of weight or capacity — more at tun

Noun (2)

French, literally, tone, from Old French, from Latin tonus

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ton

Dictionary Entries near ton

Tom Tram

tom walker






Statistics for ton

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ton

The first known use of ton was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ton


\ ˈtən How to pronounce ton (audio) \

Kids Definition of ton

: a measure of weight equal either to 2000 pounds (about 907 kilograms) ( short ton ) or 2240 pounds (about 1016 kilograms) ( long ton ) with the short ton being more frequently used in the United States and Canada

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on ton

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ton

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ton

Spanish Central: Translation of ton

Nglish: Translation of ton for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ton for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about ton

Comments on ton

What made you want to look up ton? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!