• synonyms


noun (used with a singular verb)
  1. the phonetic study of tone in language.
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Origin of tonetics

First recorded in 1920–25; tone + (phon)etics
Related formsto·net·ic, adjectiveto·net·i·cal·ly, adverbto·ne·ti·cian [toh-ni-tish-uh n] /ˌtoʊ nɪˈtɪʃ ən/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for tonetic


  1. (of a language) distinguishing words semantically by distinction of tone as well as by other soundsSee tone language
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Derived Formstonetically, adverb

Word Origin

C20: from tone + -etic, as in phonetic
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