a language, as Swedish, Chinese, Yoruba, or Serbo-Croatian, in which words that are otherwise phonologically identical are distinguished by having different pitches or pitch contour.
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- tone color,
- tone colour,
- tone control,
- tone dialing,
- tone down,
- tone painting,
- tone poem,
- tone policing,
- tone row,
- tone up
Origin of tone language
First recorded in 1905–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
a language, such as Chinese or certain African languages, in which differences in tone may make differences in meaning
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