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90s Slang You Should Know


or high-tone

[hahy-tohnd] /ˈhaɪˈtoʊnd/
having high principles; dignified.
having or aspiring to good taste, high standards, or refinement:
He writes for a high-toned literary review.
affectedly stylish or genteel.
Origin of high-toned
First recorded in 1770-80 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for high-toned
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mr. Robinson dismissed them with counsels which breathed a pure and high-toned wisdom.

  • You've turned down a high-toned gentleman like Tom—and you done it for what?

    The Man Next Door Emerson Hough
  • The high-toned Mexican gentleman bowed elaborately and shrugged deprecatingly.

    The Pride of Palomar Peter B. Kyne
  • Both Mahone and Early are high-toned gentlemen, and they will do nothing rash.

    Peck's Sunshine George W. Peck
  • The high-toned and classy place showed few customers present.

    Concerning Sally William John Hopkins
  • Where are all these high-toned English girls coming from, Jack?

    Prescott of Saskatchewan Harold Bindloss
  • The latter was a man of character, with lofty principles, while his living brother was far from being a high-toned person.

  • The life of a teacher in those days was not the high-toned one of to-day.

    Ryerson Memorial Volume J. George Hodgins
  • This is a high-toned town, by Jinks, and the boys won't stand it.

British Dictionary definitions for high-toned


having a superior social, moral, or intellectual quality
affectedly superior
high in tone
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for high-toned

1779 of musical pitch, 1807 of morality, from high (adj.) + tone.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for high-toned



Very refined and genteel; aloof and superior; tony: Look at the high-tony bum

[1888+; the term had meant ''excellent, superior'' by 1855]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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