• synonyms


or high-tone

  1. having high principles; dignified.
  2. having or aspiring to good taste, high standards, or refinement: He writes for a high-toned literary review.
  3. affectedly stylish or genteel.
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Origin of high-toned

First recorded in 1770–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for high-tone

Historical Examples of high-tone

  • Come on, boys, dem as wants to be high-tone and pass de time o' day with de Presydent, chip in.

    McClure's Magazine, Vol. XXXI, No. 3, July 1908.


  • You high-tone, kid-glove Eastern towerists want to watch out who you go calling destitute.

    Free Air

    Sinclair Lewis

British Dictionary definitions for high-tone


  1. having a superior social, moral, or intellectual quality
  2. affectedly superior
  3. high in tone
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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 high-tone



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper