- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for high-toned
His message resonated with wealthy industrialists, high-toned educators, and even presidents.College Must Be More Than Just a Classy Trade School
Michael S. Roth
August 30, 2014
That's the high-toned way TO ask, and you'd ought to have known it.The Rise of Roscoe Paine
Joseph C. Lincoln
You've turned down a high-toned gentleman like Tom—and you done it for what?The Man Next Door
Both Mahone and Early are high-toned gentlemen, and they will do nothing rash.Peck's Sunshine
George W. Peck
Where are all these high-toned English girls coming from, Jack?Prescott of Saskatchewan
It seems to me that that is the most high-toned thing he could do.Paul and His Dog, v.2 (Novels of Paul de Kock Volume XIV)
Charles Paul de Kock
- 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
Word Origin and History for high-toned
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper