- 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.
Origin of tone
Synonyms for tone
Examples from the Web for well-toned
Historical Examples of well-toned
And as she played with skill, and had a well-toned voice, it was not disagreeable to listen to her.Shirley
Every word is as distinct as can be, and his voice rings out clear and strong, like a well-toned bell.Out in the Forty-Five
Emily Sarah Holt
And thus disappears many an interesting and valuable old bell, perfectly sound and well-toned.Church Bells
H. B. Walters
A healthy and well-toned spiritual life is with him the furthest removed from asceticism.Introduction to Robert Browning
Eve held up her pretty hands, and even Mademoiselle Viefville, usually so well-toned and self-restrained, gave a visible shrug.Homeward Bound
James Fenimore Cooper
- 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.