tone1 W2 [təun US toun] n
3¦(general feeling/attitude)¦
5¦(electronic sound)¦
6 raise/lower the tone (of something)
9¦(voice level)¦
[Date: 1200-1300; : Latin; Origin: tonus 'tension, tone', from Greek tonos]
1.) ¦(VOICE)¦
the way your voice sounds, which shows how you are feeling or what you mean
in a ... tone
'You must be Annie,' he said in a friendly tone.
in sb's tone
There was urgency in his tone.
Her tone was sharp with anger.
It was obvious from her tone of voice that she didn't like me.
don't take that tone with me
(=do not speak to me in that rude or unpleasant way)
2.) ¦(SOUND)¦ [U and C]
the quality of a sound, especially the sound of a musical instrument or someone's voice
→↑pitch, timbre ↑timbre
the guitar's clean tone
in ... tones
They talked in hushed tones.
'No I didn't,' he said in a low tone (=quietly) .
deep-toned/even-toned/shrill-toned etc
(=having a low, calm etc tone)
an even-toned voice
3.) ¦(GENERAL FEELING/ATTITUDE)¦ [singular, U]
the general feeling or attitude expressed in a piece of writing, a speech, an activity etc
tone of
The tone of the report was radical.
The meetings were noted for their deeply religious tone.
in tone
The article was moderate in tone.
set the tone (for/of sth)
(=establish the general attitude or feeling of an event, activity etc)
Opening remarks are important since they set the tone for the rest of the interview.
4.) ¦(COLOUR)¦ [U and C]
one of the many types of a particular colour, each slightly darker, lighter, brighter etc than the next
= ↑shade tone of
different tones of green
Perhaps a darker tone would be better.
your skin tone (=the colour of your skin)
in tone
The dried colour is slightly deeper in tone than it appears when first applied.
a sound made by electronic equipment, such as a telephone
Please leave a message after the tone.
dial tone
AmE /dialling tone
BrE (=the sound you hear when you pick up the telephone that lets you know that you can make a call)
busy tone
AmE /engaged tone
BrE (=the sound you hear when you telephone someone but they are already talking to someone else)
6.) raise/lower the tone (of sth)
to make a place or event more or less socially acceptable, attractive etc
That horrible building lowers the whole tone of the neighborhood.
Trust you to lower the tone of the conversation (=by making rude remarks etc) .
7.) ¦(BODY)¦[U]
technical how firm and strong your muscles or skin are
A regular brisk walk will improve muscle tone .
8.) ¦(MUSIC)¦ technical
the difference in ↑pitch between two musical notes that are separated by one ↑key on the piano
American Equivalent: step
9.) ¦(VOICE LEVEL)¦ technical
how high or low your voice is when you produce different sounds
There is a falling tone on the first syllable and a rising tone on the other.
tone 2
tone2 v [T]
also tone up
to improve the strength and firmness of your muscles, skin etc
Exercise can strengthen and tone muscles.
He began to use weights in order to tone up his body.
a well-toned body
tone down [tone sth<=>down] phr v
1.) to reduce the effect of something such as a speech or piece of writing, so that people will not be offended
His advisers told him to tone down his speech.
2.) to make a colour less bright
Blue can be used to tone down very sunny rooms.
tone in phr v
if one colour or pattern tones in with another, they are similar and look good together
tone in with
Choose candles that will tone in with your tablecloth and china.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tone — (t[=o]n), n. [F. ton, L. tonus a sound, tone, fr. Gr. to nos a stretching, straining, raising of the voice, pitch, accent, measure or meter, in pl., modes or keys differing in pitch; akin to tei nein to stretch or strain. See {Thin}, and cf.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tone — may refer to: MusicTheory* Pitch (music), the perceived frequency of a note or sound (see also pure tone) * Note, the name of a pitch * Whole tone, or major second, a commonly occurring musical interval * Timbre, the quality of a musical note or… …   Wikipedia

  • tone — [tōn] n. [ME < OFr & L: OFr ton < L tonus, a sound < Gr tonos, a stretching, tone < teinein, to stretch: see THIN] 1. a) a vocal or musical sound b) its quality 2. an intonation, pitch, modulation, etc. of the voice that expresses a… …   English World dictionary

  • Tone — bezeichnet: Personen mit dem Vor , Nach oder Künstlernamen Tone, siehe Tone (Name) mehrere japanische Kriegsschiffe: Tone (1907), ein Geschützter Kreuzer Tone (1938), ein schwerer Kreuzer und Typschiff der Tone Klasse Tone (DE 234), eine U Jagd… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tone — Tone, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Toned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Toning}.] 1. To utter with an affected tone. [1913 Webster] 2. To give tone, or a particular tone, to; to tune. See {Tune}, v. t. [1913 Webster] 3. (Photog.) To bring, as a print, to a certain… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tone — puede referirse a: Lugares: Río Tone (Inglaterra). Un río en Somerset, Inglaterra. Río Tone (Japón). Un río en la región de Kantō. Tone (Ibaraki). Distrito de Tone (Gunma), Japón. Tône, una prefectura en Togo. Barcos: Tone (1910) Tone (1938) Tone …   Wikipedia Español

  • tone in — ˌtone ˈin [intransitive] [present tense I/you/we/they tone in he/she/it tones in present participle toning in past tense …   Useful english dictionary

  • tone — UK US /təʊn/ noun [S] COMMUNICATIONS ► an electronic sound that you hear on a phone line: »Please leave your message after the tone. ● a busy tone Cf. a busy tone → See also DIAL TONE(Cf. ↑dial tone), DIALLING TONE …   Financial and business terms

  • tone — ► NOUN 1) a musical or vocal sound with reference to its pitch, quality, and strength. 2) the sound of a person s voice, expressing a feeling or mood. 3) general character: trust her to lower the tone of the conversation. 4) (also whole tone) a… …   English terms dictionary

  • tone — [n1] pitch, volume accent, emphasis, force, inflection, intonation, modulation, resonance, strength, stress, timbre, tonality; concept 65 tone [n2] attitude, spirit air, approach, aspect, character, condition, current, drift, effect, expression,… …   New thesaurus

  • Tone — Tone, die Rückstände der Verwitterung tonerdehaltiger Silikatgesteine, unterschieden als magere Tone mit größerem, als fette mit geringem Sandgehalt. Ein sehr reiner Ton ist Kaolin (s.d.). Vgl. a. Aluminium …   Lexikon der gesamten Technik