View synonyms for tone down

tone down


  1. adverb to moderate or become moderated in tone

    to tone down a bright colour

    to tone down an argument

“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

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Idioms and Phrases

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]
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Example Sentences

Johnson urged conservatives to tone down their rhetoric to try to broaden the base.

All leaders involved have to tone down their “explanations” and self-justifications.

Progressives would be wise to tone down the triumphalism—at least in the run up to midterms.

Speechwriter Mark Katz quickly scrambled to tone down the jokes.

Now they are joining forces—politically and in business—to urge their parties to tone down the negativity and personal attacks.

They tone down its severity of style, and cast gently into it a mellowed light akin to that of the “dim religious” order.

Usually only an exceedingly small amount of its complement is needed to tone down a given color.

First, as a form in repose, she will tone down savage life, and pave the way from feeling to thought.

He anticipates success, but is gradually learning to tone down his enthusiasm, realizing that difficulties beset his way.

It is very difficult for the Muscular to "tone down" this powerful voice.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




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