- a musical sound of definite pitch, consisting of several relatively simple constituents called partial tones, the lowest of which is called the fundamental tone and the others harmonics or overtones.
- an interval equivalent to two semitones; a whole tone; a whole step.
- any of the nine melodies or tunes to which Gregorian plainsong psalms are sung.
- the normal state of tension or responsiveness of the organs or tissues of the body.
- that state of the body or of an organ in which all its functions are performed with healthy vigor.
- normal sensitivity to stimulation.
verb (used with object), toned, ton·ing.
verb (used without object), toned, ton·ing.
- to become or cause to become softened or moderated: The newspaper toned down its attack.
- Painting. to make (a color) less intense in hue; subdue.
- to give a higher or stronger tone to.
- to gain or cause to gain in tone or strength: toning up little-used muscles.
Origin of tone
British Dictionary definitions for tone down (1 of 3)
British Dictionary definitions for tone down (2 of 3)
British Dictionary definitions for tone down (3 of 3)
- the normal tension of a muscle at rest
- the natural firmness of the tissues and normal functioning of bodily organs in health
Word Origin for tone
Medicine definitions for tone down
Idioms and Phrases with tone down
Make less vivid, harsh, or violent; moderate. For example, That's a little too much rouge; I'd tone it down a bit, or Do you think I should tone down this letter of complaint? This idiom uses tone in the sense of “adjust the tone or quality of something,” as does the antonym, tone up, meaning “brighten or strengthen.” For example, These curtains will tone up the whole room, or This exercise is said to tone up the triceps. [Mid-1800s]