\ˈtō-nē \
variants: or less commonly
tonier; toniest

Definition of tony 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: marked by an aristocratic or high-toned manner or style tony private schools


To·​ny | \ˈtō-nē \
plural Tonys

Definition of Tony (Entry 2 of 2)

: a medallion awarded annually by a professional organization for notable achievement in the theater

Examples of tony in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

South of the border, in Tijuana’s tony business district known as the Río Zone, the normally bustling streets were almost free of traffic. Sandra Dibble,, "¡Viva Korea! Losing to Sweden, Mexican soccer fans cheer Korean team," 27 June 2018 The building, located in one of London's toniest neighborhoods, housed low-income families, including new immigrants. Amanda Erickson, Washington Post, "The Grenfell fire inquiry started this week. Here’s what you need to know.," 22 May 2018 The curvy 29-year-old hairdresser resides in his home, a spacious bi-level just off the beach, nestled in one of the tonier neighborhoods in Mazatlán, the de facto capital of Mexico's tourist-dense Gold Coast. Monica Campbell, Marie Claire, "Mexico's Female Drug Lords," 21 July 2011 His signature is everywhere: robes, coffee service, Alexa units and in-room mini-fridges are tony additions to each guest room. Laurencia Ciprus,, "A B&B In Belltown: Bevin House Buyer Planned A Quick Flip, Then Fell In Love With It," 18 May 2018 About 1,500 guests attended the invitation-only service at the family's longtime church, St. Martin's Episcopal, a lofty gothic landmark lined with massive stained glass windows in the tony Galleria area. Molly Hennessy-fiske,, "Barbara Bush remembered at funeral for her grit, grace and humor," 21 Apr. 2018 The city of Richmond, Calif. juts into the San Francisco Bay like the head of a rhinoceros looking west across the water, toward San Quentin State Prison and the tony towns north of the Golden Gate. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "Can a City Really Sue an Oil Company for Climate Change?," 25 May 2018 The old man ran cattle in Sun Valley before the tony ski town existed. Maria L. La Ganga, idahostatesman, "This is the last call for another Boise icon, home of fishing reels and PBR | Idaho Statesman," 13 Apr. 2018 The Rivertowns alone have five distinct sensibilities: Hastings-on-Hudson is the artsiest; Dobbs Ferry, the most diverse; Irvington, the toniest; Tarrytown, the most charming; and Ardsley, the most landlocked. Brooke Lea Foster, New York Times, "Comparing Suburbs: Montclair in New Jersey vs. Dobbs Ferry in New York," 23 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tony.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tony


1877, in the meaning defined above


1947, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tony


Tony, nickname of Antoinette Perry †1946 American actress & producer

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Statistics for tony

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for tony

The first known use of tony was in 1877

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English Language Learners Definition of tony

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: very expensive and fashionable



English Language Learners Definition of Tony (Entry 2 of 2)

: an award given every year in New York City for the best plays, actors, directors, etc., in the theater

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full of whispering sounds

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