- The definition of a tone is a sound in terms of its quality, pitch, origin or power.
An example of tone is off-key.
- Tone is the quality or implied meaning of something that is said.
An example of tone is sarcasm.
- Tone means to soften or reduce, particularly in artistic terms.
An example of tone is to add white eyeshadow to black eyeshadow so that it is not so harsh.
- Tone is defined as to strengthen or firm up.
An example of tone is to lift weights every day to build muscle.
The tone of this girl's singing is off-key.
- a vocal or musical sound
- its quality
- an intonation, pitch, modulation, etc. of the voice that expresses a particular meaning or feeling of the speaker: a tone of contempt
- a manner of speaking or writing that shows a certain attitude on the part of the speaker or writer, consisting in choice of words, phrasing, etc.: the friendly tone of her letter
- normal resilience or elasticity: rubber that has lost its tone
- the prevailing or predominant style, character, spirit, trend, morale, or state of morals of a place or period: the cultured tone of their house
- distinctive style; elegance: paintings that lent the room tone
- a quality or value of color; tint; shade
- any of the slight modifications of a particular color; hue: three tones of green
- the relative height of pitch with which a syllable, word, etc. is pronounced
- the relative height of pitch that is a phoneme of a language and distinguishes meaning, as in the tone languages
- a sound that is distinct and identifiable by its regularity of vibration, or constant pitch (as distinguished from a noise), and that may be put into harmonic relation with other such sounds
- the simple or fundamental tone of a musical sound as distinguished from its overtones
- any one of the full intervals of a diatonic scale; whole step
- any of several recitation melodies used in singing the psalms in plainsong
- Painting the effect produced by the combination of light, shade, and color
- the condition of an organism, organ, or part with reference to its normal, healthy functioning
- the normal tension, or resistance to stretch, of a healthy muscle, independent of that caused by voluntary innervation; tonus
Origin of toneMiddle English ; from Old French and amp; L: Old French ton ; from Classical Latin tonus, a sound ; from Classical Greek tonos, a stretching, tone ; from teinein, to stretch: see thin
transitive verbtoned, toning
- Rare intone
- to give a tone to; specif., to give the proper or desired tone to (a musical instrument, a painting, etc.)
- to change the tone of
- Photog. to change or alter the color of (a print) by chemical means
- to give a lower or less intense tone to
- to become softened
- to make (something written or said) less harsh or more moderate
tone in with
- to give a higher or more intense tone to
- to become strengthened or heightened
- Music a. A sound of distinct pitch, quality, and duration; a note.b. The interval of a major second in the diatonic scale; a whole step.c. A recitational melody in a Gregorian chant.
- a. The quality or character of sound.b. The characteristic quality or timbre of a particular instrument or voice.
- a. The pitch of a word used to determine its meaning or to distinguish differences in meaning.b. The particular or relative pitch of a word, phrase, or sentence.
- Manner of expression in speech or writing: took an angry tone with the reporters.
- A general quality, effect, or atmosphere: a room with an elegant tone.
- a. A color or shade of color: light tones of blue.b. Quality of color: The green wallpaper had a particularly somber tone.
- The general effect in painting of light, color, and shade.
- Physiology a. The normal state of elastic tension or partial contraction in resting muscles.b. Normal firmness of a tissue or an organ.
verbtoned toned, ton·ing, tones
- To give a particular tone or inflection to.
- To soften or change the color of (a painting or photographic negative, for example).
- To sound monotonously; intone.
- To make firmer or stronger. Often used with up: exercises that tone up the body.
- To assume a particular color quality.
- To harmonize in color.
Origin of toneMiddle English ton, from Old French, from Latin tonus, from Greek tonos, string, a stretching; see ten- in Indo-European roots.
- (music) A specific pitch.
- (music) (in the diatonic scale) An interval of a major second.
- (music) (in a Gregorian chant) A recitational melody.
- The character of a sound, especially the timbre of an instrument or voice.
- General character, mood, or trend.
- Her rousing speech gave an upbeat tone to the rest of the evening.
- (linguistics) The pitch of a word that distinguishes a difference in meaning, for example in Chinese.
- (dated) A whining style of speaking; a kind of mournful or artificial strain of voice; an affected speaking with a measured rhythm and a regular rise and fall of the voice.
- Children often read with a tone.
- (literature) The manner in which speech or writing is expressed.
- The shade or quality of a colour.
- The favourable effect of a picture produced by the combination of light and shade, or of colours.
- This picture has tone.
- The definition and firmness of a muscle or organ. see also: tonus
- (biology) The state of a living body or of any of its organs or parts in which the functions are healthy and performed with due vigor.
- (biology) Normal tension or responsiveness to stimuli.
(third-person singular simple present tones, present participle toning, simple past and past participle toned)
- to give a particular tone to
- to change the colour of
- to make (something) firmer
- (intransitive) to harmonize, especially in colour
- To utter with an affected tone.
- (now dialectal) The one (of two).