• synonyms


  1. metric ton.
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Origin of tonne

From French, dating back to 1900–05; see origin at ton1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tonne

Historical Examples

  • He says it was "a pretty Pynnace of about some thirty tonne."

    The Popham Colony

    William Frederick Poole

  • Is there any specific account of the "tonne in Cornhyll" existing?

  • That is nat so for whan one parte is gone another dothe encrease, and it chansythe dyuersly euyn as the tonne of Canaidus.

  • When he comes to large weights, does he not commonly abjure the 1,000 kilos and write one tonne?

  • I think it is Chamfort who says, that "un sot qui a un moment d'esprit, tonne et scandalise comme des chevaux de fiacre au galop."

British Dictionary definitions for tonne


  1. a unit of mass equal to 1000 kg or 2204.6 poundsAlso called (not in technical use): metric ton
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Word Origin

from French
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

Word Origin and History for tonne


1877, French form of ton, adopted for English use to denote a metric ton (1,000 kg.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper