Origin of tone

1275–1325; Middle English (noun) < Latin tonus < Greek tónos strain, tone, mode, literally, a stretching, akin to teínein to stretch

SYNONYMS FOR tone

1 See sound1.
15 spirit, quality, temper.

Related forms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for tone down (1 of 3)

tone down


verb

(adverb) to moderate or become moderated in toneto tone down an argument; to tone down a bright colour

British Dictionary definitions for tone down (2 of 3)

Tone

/ (təʊn) /

noun

(Theobald) Wolfe. 1763–98, Irish nationalist, who founded (1791) the Society of United Irishmen and led (1798) French military forces to Ireland. He was captured and sentenced to death but committed suicide

British Dictionary definitions for tone down (3 of 3)

tone

/ (təʊn) /

noun

verb

See also tone down, tone up

Word Origin for tone

C14: from Latin tonus, from Greek tonos tension, tone, from teinein to stretch
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

Medicine definitions for tone down

tone

[ tōn ]

n.

The quality or character of sound.
The character of voice expressing an emotion.
The normal state of elastic tension or partial contraction in resting muscles.
Normal firmness of a tissue or an organ.

v.

To give tone or firmness to.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with tone down

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]

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