any sound considered with reference to its quality, pitch, strength, source, etc.: shrill tones.
quality or character of sound.
vocal sound; the sound made by vibrating muscular bands in the larynx.
a particular quality, way of sounding, modulation, or intonation of the voice as expressive of some meaning, feeling, spirit, etc.: a tone of command.
an accent peculiar to a person, people, locality, etc., or a characteristic mode of sounding words in speech.
stress of voice on a syllable of a word.
Linguistics. a musical pitch or movement in pitch serving to distinguish two words otherwise composed of the same sounds, as in Chinese.
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.
a quality of color with reference to the degree of absorption or reflection of light; a tint or shade; value.
that distinctive quality by which colors differ from one another in addition to their differences indicated by chroma, tint, shade; a slight modification of a given color; hue:green with a yellowish tone.
Art. the prevailing effect of harmony of color and values.
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.
a normal healthy mental condition.
a particular mental state or disposition; spirit, character, or tenor.
a particular style or manner, as of writing or speech; mood: the macabre tone of Poe's stories.
prevailing character or style, as of manners, morals, or philosophical outlook: the liberal tone of the 1960s.
style, distinction, or elegance.
to sound with a particular tone.
to give the proper tone to (a musical instrument).
to modify the tone or general coloring of.
to give the desired tone to (a painting, drawing, etc.).
Photography. to change the color of (a print), especially by chemical means.
to render as specified in tone or coloring.
to modify the tone or character of.
to give or restore physical or mental tone to.
to take on a particular tone; assume color or tint.
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.
tone (in) with, to harmonize in tone or coloring; blend: The painting tones with the room.
- toneless, adjective
- tone·less·ly, adverb
- tone·less·ness, noun
- mul·ti·toned, adjective
- non·toned, adjective
- un·toned, adjective
- well-toned, adjective
Other definitions for Tone (2 of 2)
(Theobald) Wolfe, 1763–98, Irish nationalist and martyr for independence.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use tone in a sentence
As a bowhunter your goal is to paint a picture in the animal’s mind with the timing, location, tone, and intensity of your vocalization.
It can suggest variations of different lengths and tones, as well as help users find the best word to use in a particular circumstance.Startup cofounded by A.I. heavy hitters debuts editing tool it hopes will ‘transform writing’ | Jeremy Kahn | October 27, 2020 | Fortune
You chose your own 1987 Porsche 911 Targa to open the book and set the tone.
As for sound, Shure has aimed for a relatively neutral, flat tone that provides an accurate recreation of what the original producer intended for any track, and the results are great.Shure’s Aonic 50 wireless noise-cancelling headphones offer best-in-class audio quality | Darrell Etherington | October 16, 2020 | TechCrunch
Besides, tackling a trail run or backcountry ski before breakfast sets a great tone for the day.
And Abercrombie & Fitch is toning down its 'nightclub' vibe.Andre Leon Talley Packs for Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's Wedding; Gucci's Frida Giannini Denies Leaving the House | The Fashion Beast Team | May 23, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Talks between the two sides will require toning down the rhetoric, mostly from the government.
One activist admitted to toning down her posts on Twitter and Facebook after signing.
Is the right better served, I ask, by toning down its discontent with the Obama administration?
Kasowitz referred all calls to Sitrick, and the usually vociferous Sitrick is toning down things as well.
After printing the paper to the proper shade the toning and fixing baths will wash away the ink and leave the lettering in white.The Boy Mechanic, Book 2 | Various
The cold mitten friction is a bath that is applicable to any condition where the child or adult needs "toning up."The Mother and Her Child | William S. Sadler
Kempes, champions, in O is a characteristic toning down of Kinges in C, but comp.
I'm going to work on every inner muscle as well, toning up your liver, your heart, etc.
For beginners who wish to use the combined toning and fixing bath, it is better to buy it already prepared.Harper's Round Table, August 20, 1895 | Various
British Dictionary definitions for tone (1 of 2)
sound with reference to quality, pitch, or volume
short for tone colour
US and Canadian another word for note (def. 10)
(in acoustic analysis) a sound resulting from periodic or regular vibrations, composed either of a simple sinusoidal waveform (pure tone) or of several such waveforms superimposed upon one main one (compound tone)
an interval of a major second; whole tone
Also called: Gregorian tone any of several plainsong melodies or other chants used in the singing of psalms
linguistics any of the pitch levels or pitch contours at which a syllable may be pronounced, such as high tone, falling tone, etc
the quality or character of a sound: a nervous tone of voice
general aspect, quality, or style: I didn't like the tone of his speech
high quality or style: to lower the tone of a place
the quality of a given colour, as modified by mixture with white or black; shade; tint: a tone of red
the normal tension of a muscle at rest
the natural firmness of the tissues and normal functioning of bodily organs in health
the overall effect of the colour values and gradations of light and dark in a picture
photog a colour or shade of colour, including black or grey, of a particular area on a negative or positive that can be distinguished from surrounding lighter or darker areas
(intr often foll by with) to be of a matching or similar tone (to): the curtains tone with the carpet
(tr) to give a tone to or correct the tone of
photog (tr) to soften or change the colour of the tones of (a photographic image) by chemical means
(tr) to give greater firmness or strength to (the body or a part of the body)
an archaic word for intone
British Dictionary definitions for Tone (2 of 2)
(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
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