- 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.
- 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.
verb (used with object), toned, ton·ing.
verb (used without object), toned, ton·ing.
- 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 arm,
- tone cluster,
- tone color,
- tone colour,
- tone control
Origin of tone
Examples from the Web for toning
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|DAILY BEAST
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.
Many failures in toning are entirely due to lack of care in details and sufficient attention to cleanliness.The Barnet Book of Photography|Various
For toning up the generative organs, so that they can perform their natural functions, Pratts Cow Remedy is safe and positive.
Toning, fixing, and washing can be done in the ordinary way by filling the bottle up with the different solutions.Photographic Amusements, Ninth Edition|Walter E. Woodbury and Frank R. Fraprie
"Your imagination is toning down wonderfully," he flattered him.Romance Island|Zona Gale
He wondered just what words he would find in the way of advice about toning down her style for north country operations.Joan of Arc of the North Woods|Holman Day
- the normal tension of a muscle at rest
- the natural firmness of the tissues and normal functioning of bodily organs in health
Word Origin for tone
mid-14c., from Old French ton (13c.), from Latin tonus "a sound, tone, accent," literally "stretching" (in Medieval Latin, a term peculiar to music), from Greek tonos "vocal pitch, raising of voice, accent, key in music," originally "a stretching, taut string," related to teinein "to stretch" (see tenet). Sense of "manner of speaking" is from c.1600. First reference to firmness of body is from 1660s.
"to impart tone to," 1811, from tone (n.). Related: Toned; toning.