[ toh-nee ]
/ ˈtoʊ ni /
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adjective, ton·i·er, ton·i·est.Informal.
high-toned; stylish: a tony nightclub.
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Origin of tony

An Americanism dating back to 1875–80; tone + -y1

Other definitions for tony (2 of 3)

[ toh-nee ]
/ ˈtoʊ ni /

noun, plural To·nys.
one of a group of awards made annually by the American Theatre Wing, a professional school for the performing arts, for achievements in theatrical production and performance.

Origin of Tony

After the nickname of Antoinette Perry

Other definitions for tony (3 of 3)

[ toh-nee ]
/ ˈtoʊ ni /

a male given name, form of Anthony.
a female given name, form of Antoinette or Antonia.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is a Tony?

A Tony is an annual award given by the American Theatre Wing (ATW) for excellence in theater production.

The Tony award is a black statuette featuring a suspended medallion with the image of the comedy and tragedy mask and the winner’s name, category, and winning year engraved on it. The awards are given out at the Tony Awards ceremony, also known as the Tonys. The Tonys are a televised ceremonial event that features celebrity hosts, musical performances, and Broadway announcements. Typically, the event is seen as one of the most important nights in the theater industry because it gathers many of its most talented performers, directors, and production crews.

When are the Tonys?

The 2023 Tony Awards ceremony will take place on June 11.

More information and context on the Tonys

The Tonys began in 1947 when the ATW gave out awards at a dinner ceremony on April 6. The first event featured 11 categories and theatrical performances from Mickey Rooney, Herb Shriner, Ethel Waters, and others. The event was first televised in 1967 when the Broadway League joined the ATW to co-present the Tonys.

The event and awards are named after Antoinette Perry, the leader of the ATW during World War II. Perry, who went by the nickname Tony, led the ATW during the war as a theater director and philanthropist working to entertain and support the American armed forces overseas and domestically.

Modernly, the Tonys feature dozens of award categories, including Best Play, Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Revival of a Play. The Tonys now last about three hours and feature multiple musical and dramatic performances from Broadway and off-Broadway theater groups.

What are some terms that often get used in discussing Tony?

How are Tonys discussed in real life?

The Tony awards are very important in the theater industry and are talked about frequently.


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True or False?

The Tony awards are named after Antoinette Perry.

How to use tony in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for tony (1 of 2)

/ (ˈtəʊnɪ) /

adjective tonier or toniest
US and Canadian informal stylish or distinctive; classy

Word Origin for tony

C20: from tone

British Dictionary definitions for tony (2 of 2)

/ (ˈtəʊnɪ) /

noun plural Tonies or Tonys
any of several medallions awarded annually in the United States by a professional school for the performing arts for outstanding achievement in the theatre

Word Origin for Tony

from Tony, the nickname of Antoinette Perry (died 1946), US actress and producer
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