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[French tawn]
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noun, plural tons [French tawn] /French tɔ̃/.
  1. high fashion; stylishness.
  2. the current fashion, style, or vogue.

Origin of ton2

1755–65; < French < Latin tonus tone
Related formston·ish, ton·nish [ton-ish] /ˈtɒn ɪʃ/, adjectiveton·ish·ly, ton·nish·ly, adverbton·ish·ness, ton·nish·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tonish

Historical Examples

  • For the redoubtable Tonish, who whilom figured so bravely on the prairies and in print, I made diligent inquiry.

    Early Western Travels, 1748-1846 (Volume XXVI)


British Dictionary definitions for tonish


  1. Also called: long ton British a unit of weight equal to 2240 pounds or 1016.046909 kilograms
  2. Also called: short ton, net ton US a unit of weight equal to 2000 pounds or 907.184 kilograms
  3. Also called: metric ton, tonne a unit of weight equal to 1000 kilograms
  4. Also called: freight ton a unit of volume or weight used for charging or measuring freight in shipping. It depends on the type of material being shipped but is often taken as 40 cubic feet, 1 cubic metre, or 1000 kilogramsfreight is charged at £40 per ton of 1 cubic metre
  5. Also called: measurement ton, shipping ton a unit of volume used in shipping freight, equal to 40 cubic feet, irrespective of the commodity shipped
  6. Also called: displacement ton a unit used for measuring the displacement of a ship, equal to 35 cubic feet of sea water or 2240 pounds
  7. Also called: register ton a unit of internal capacity of ships equal to 100 cubic feet
See also tons

Word Origin

C14: variant of tun


  1. style, fashion, or distinction

Word Origin

C18: from French, from Latin tonus tone


  1. slang, mainly British a score or achievement of a hundred, esp a hundred miles per hour, as on a motorcycle

Word Origin

C20: special use of ton 1 applied to quantities of one hundred
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

Word Origin and History for tonish



late 14c., tonne, unit for measuring the carrying capacity of a ship, originally "space occupied by a tun or cask of wine," thus identical to tun (q.v.). The two words were not differentiated until 1680s. The measure of weight is first recorded late 15c.; the spelling ton is from 1530s, and became firmly established 18c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tonish in Science


  1. A unit of weight in the US Customary System equal to 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms). Also called short ton See Table at measurement.
  2. A unit of weight in the US Customary System equal to 2,240 pounds (1,008 kilograms). Also called long ton See Table at measurement.
  3. See metric ton.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with tonish


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.