- tone1 [ toun ] noun ***▸ 1 sound of voice▸ 2 character of something▸ 3 quality of voice etc.▸ 4 signal/warning sound▸ 5 color▸ 6 of musical note▸ 7 firmness of muscles etc.▸ 8 in linguistics1. ) count or uncount the sound of someone's voice that shows what they are feeling:Meredith trembled at the tenderness in his tone.a tone of voice: Really? Simone said in a disbelieving tone of voice.Don't you take that tone of voice with me (=don't speak to me so rudely)!a ) the type of sound that someone makes with their voice in a particular situation:They were sitting close together, talking in hushed tones.2. ) singular or uncount the general character of a place or event:The positive tone of the evening had changed completely.set the tone (for something): The opening remarks set the tone for the rest of the interview.raise/lower the tone (of something): Trust you to lower the tone of the whole conversation!a ) the general attitude shown by a piece of writing:Much of his writing has a strident tone to it.in tone: Their next letter was more optimistic in tone.3. ) count or uncount the quality of the sound made by a musical instrument, voice, or piece of electronic equipment:a flute with a clear bright tone4. ) count a sound made by a piece of equipment as a signal or warning:I picked up the phone and just got a beeping tone.5. ) count a color, or a particular SHADE (=type) of a color:a plaid skirt in subtle tones of purple and greenher olive skin tone6. ) count an amount equal to two HALF STEPS by which a musical note is higher or lower than another note7. ) uncount the firmness or healthy quality of your body, muscles, or skin:muscle/skin tone: The patient's general muscle tone is good.8. ) count or uncount LINGUISTICS the degree to which the sound of a word or part of a word is high or low:You use a rising tone in English to indicate a question.tonetone 2 [ toun ] verb1. ) tone or tone up transitive to make your body, muscles, or skin more firm and healthy:She quickly cleansed, toned, and moisturized her face.I'm exercising regularly to tone my muscles.2. ) tone or tone in intransitive tone with BRITISH if something tones with something else they look good together because their colors are similar,tone `down phrasal verb transitive1. ) to make something less severe, shocking, or offensive:Both sides agreed to tone down their speeches in order to avoid an argument.2. ) to make a color less strong or bright,tone `in phrasal verb intransitive BRITISHsame as TONE 2 2:tone in with: The curtains tone in nicely with the wallpaper.,tone `up phrasal verb transitivesame as TONE 2 1:He'd lost some weight and toned his muscles up.
Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.