Tone - definition, pronunciation, transcription

Amer.  |toʊn|  American pronunciation of the word tone
Brit.  |təʊn|  British pronunciation of the word tone


- the quality of a person's voice
- (linguistics) a pitch or change in pitch of the voice that serves to distinguish words in tonal languages
- (music) the distinctive property of a complex sound (a voice or noise or musical sound)(syn: quality, timber, timbre)
- the general atmosphere of a place or situation and the effect that it has on people(syn: feel, feeling, flavor, flavour, look, smell, spirit)
- a quality of a given color that differs slightly from another color (syn: shade, tincture, tint)
- a notation representing the pitch and duration of a musical sound (syn: note)
- a steady sound without overtones

▼ (3)


- utter monotonously and repetitively and rhythmically (syn: chant, intone)
- vary the pitch of one's speech (syn: inflect, modulate)
- change the color or tone of
- change to a color image
- give a healthy elasticity to(syn: strengthen)


He replied in a friendly tone.

They spoke in hushed tones.

Don't use that rude tone of voice with me.

the low tones of an organ

The speech had religious tones to it.

The author's tone shows her attitude toward the subject.

The professor's condescending tone irritated some students.

a bright, dark, or light tone of blue

the soft tones of the painting

Their tone was friendly.

Don't take that tone with me.

The tone of the market is dull.

Please, leave a message after the tone.

Pianos are toned.

He sang or toned his verses.

Phrasal verbs

tone down  — deaden (a sound or noise), especially by wrapping
tone up  — give a healthy elasticity to

Word forms

I/you/we/they: tone
he/she/it: tones
present participle: toning
past tense: toned
past participle: toned
singular: tone
plural: tones
See also:  WebsterWiktionaryLongman