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adjective, ton·i·er, ton·i·est. Informal.
  1. high-toned; stylish: a tony nightclub.

Origin of tony

An Americanism dating back to 1875–80; tone + -y1


noun, plural To·nys.
  1. one of a group of awards made annually by the American Theatre Wing, a professional school for the performing arts, for achievements in theatrical production and performance.

Origin of Tony1

after the nickname of Antoinette Perry


  1. a male given name, form of Anthony.
  2. a female given name, form of Antoinette or Antonia.


  1. Anthony Charles Lyn·ton [lin-tuh n] /ˈlɪn tən/Tony, born 1953, British political leader: prime minister 1997–2007.
  2. Bonnie,born 1964, U.S. speed skater.
  3. John,1732–1800, U.S. jurist.
  4. Also Blaire. a male or female given name.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tony

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Harriet was "tony" because she walked with her elbows in and her head up.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • When you are free of your cloak, Tony Cross, dismount and let us embrace.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • A brother may not be a friend: but a friend will always be a brother—mind that, as your uncle Tony says!

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Tony Cornish had a cheery way with him which made other men talk.

    Roden's Corner

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • Dorothy recollected that Mrs. Vansittart had said something like this about Tony Cornish.

    Roden's Corner

    Henry Seton Merriman

British Dictionary definitions for tony


adjective tonier or toniest
  1. US and Canadian informal stylish or distinctive; classy

Word Origin

C20: from tone


noun plural Tonies or Tonys
  1. any of several medallions awarded annually in the United States by a professional school for the performing arts for outstanding achievement in the theatre

Word Origin

from Tony, the nickname of Antoinette Perry (died 1946), US actress and producer


  1. Tony, full name Anthony Charles Lynton Blair . born 1953, British politician; leader of the Labour Party (1994–2007); prime minister (1997–2007); Middle East peace envoy from 2007
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 tony


1877, American English slang, from high-toned. It was the name of a reddish-brown fashion color in the 1920s.


1947, awards given by American Theatre Wing (New York), from nickname of U.S. actress, manager, and producer Antoinette Perry (1888-1946).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper