American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Music A sound of distinct pitch, quality, and duration; a note.
- n. Music The interval of a major second in the diatonic scale; a whole step.
- n. Music A recitational melody in a Gregorian chant.
- n. The quality or character of sound.
- n. The characteristic quality or timbre of a particular instrument or voice.
- n. The pitch of a word used to determine its meaning or to distinguish differences in meaning.
- n. The particular or relative pitch of a word, phrase, or sentence.
- n. Manner of expression in speech or writing: took an angry tone with the reporters.
- n. A general quality, effect, or atmosphere: a room with an elegant tone.
- n. A color or shade of color: light tones of blue.
- n. Quality of color: The green wallpaper had a particularly somber tone.
- n. The general effect in painting of light, color, and shade.
- n. Physiology The normal state of elastic tension or partial contraction in resting muscles.
- n. Physiology Normal firmness of a tissue or an organ.
- v. To give a particular tone or inflection to.
- v. To soften or change the color of (a painting or photographic negative, for example).
- v. To sound monotonously; intone.
- v. To make firmer or stronger. Often used with up: exercises that tone up the body.
- v. To assume a particular color quality.
- v. To harmonize in color.
- tone down To make less vivid, harsh, or violent; moderate.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In philology, a distinctive quality or pitch forming in some languages a fixed feature of the pronunciation of words, as in Chinese, Swedish, etc. Such tones in Chinese (called
sheng) serve to distinguish, theoretically, eight phases of a given monosyllable. These tones have been supposed to represent a former chanting or singsong utterance; but they represent, rather, the faint phonetic relics of otherwise vanished syllables, kept in the process of monosyllabizing because they serve to differentiate what would otherwise be indistinguishable homonyms. So in Russian and French a vanished final vowel ('silent e') has left a phonetic effect upon the preceding consonant. In Chinese these reliquial effects have come to be conventionally regulated into a kind of musical system similar to that which in English utterance is purely rhetorical and therefore variable.
- n. In telephonic testing, the humming noise produced by the introduction of an alternating or rapidly alternating current into the line
- In printing, to grade or soften with a graver, or roulette, or by etching certain parts (especially the edges) of (an illustration, usually an electrotype), as an aid in reducing the quantity of ink caused by pressure in printing.
- n. Any sound considered with reference to its acuteness or gravity (pitch), openness, dullness, purity, sweetness, harshness, or the like (quality or timbre), or loudness or softness (strength or volume).
- n. Specifically In musical acoustics, a sound having definiteness and continuity enough so that its pitch, force, and quality may be readily estimated by the ear, and so that it may be employed in musical relations; musical sound: opposed to noise. See sound. Most tones are plainly composite, consisting of several relatively simple constituents called
partial tones. Of these the lowest in pitch is usually the most prominent, and hence is called the principal or fundamental tone, while the others are called accessory tones, overtones, or harmonics (see harmonic, n., 1). The difference in timbre between tones of different voices or instruments is due to differences in the number and relative force of their partial tones. (See timbre.) When two tones are sounded together, they frequently generate resultant tones, which are further divided into differential and summational tones. See resultant.
- n. Modulation, inflection, or accent of the voice, as adapted to express sentiment, emotion, or passion.
- n. An affected or artificial style of intonation in speaking or reading; a sing-song or measured rhythmical manner of speaking.
- n. In music, one of the larger intervals of a diatonic series or scale; a whole step or “whole tone” as distinguished from a half-step or semitone. The standard tones are the larger and the smaller major seconds, acoustically represented by the ratios 8:9 and 9:10 respectively. The compromise intervals by which these intervals are rendered in the system of equal temperament are also called
tonesor whole steps.
- n. In Gregorian music, a melody or tune traditionally associated with a particular text; an ancient psalm-tune. See chant . The origin of these old melodies is disputed. They may have been composed in the early Christian period, but it is more likely that they were imitated either from ancient Greek melodies or from the songs of the ancient Hebrews. In the latter case, it is possible that they preserve some of the musical usages of the temple music.
- n. In medicine, the state of tension or firmness proper to the tissues of the body; the state in which all the parts and organs have due tension or are well strung; the strength and activity of the organs on which healthy functions depend; hence, that state of the body in which all the animal functions are performed with healthy vigor. See tonicity.
- n. State or temper of mind; mood.
- n. Tenor; spirit; strain; quality; specifically, the general or prevailing character or style, as of morals, manners, or sentiments, especially a marked degree of such style.
- n. In painting, the prevailing effect of color, or the general effect produced by the management of light and shade in a picture: as, dark, light, or silvery tone. In color, tone is dependent upon quality—namely, that part of the luminosity or transparency of an object which is due partly to its local tint and partly to the light which falls upon it. In general, tone depends upon the harmonious relation of objects in shadow to the principal light. We speak of a deep tone, a rich tone, a vigorous or firm tone, a delicate tone, meaning the mode in which by harmonized relations rounded masses are made more or less distinct, and objects more or less prominent.
- n. A quality of color; a tint; a shade.
- n. In chromatics, see the first quotation.
- n. In photography, the color of a finished positive picture, in many processes due to a chemical operation supplementary to those of producing and fixing the picture: as, a print of a brown, gray, or black tone; also, sometimes, the color of the film of a negative, etc.
- n. In grammar, syllabic accent; stress of voice on one of the syllables of a word.
- n. In playing on musical instruments of the stringed and brass wind groups, a tone produced from an open string or without the use of valves or other modifiers of the pitch. Opposed to stopped tone.
- n. Synonyms Noise, etc. See sound.
- To tune. See tune.
- To utter in an affected or drawling tone.
- To give tone or quality to, in respect either to sound or to color or tint.
- In photography, to alter the color, as of a picture in finishing it, to give it greater brilliancy or a more agreeable tint. This is performed by the action of a chemical solution of which the chief agent, in the case of ordinary silver prints on paper, is usually clilorid of gold, and changes the natural reddish hue to a deeper brown, or to black or gray, etc., as desired.
- To give a more subdued tone to; reduce or moderate the characteristic opinions or expressions of; render less confident, pronounced, or decided; soften.
- To take on a particular tone; specifically, to assume color or tint.
- To harmonize in tone, color, or tint.
- One: originally and usually preceded by the, and usually followed by the tother. See etymology. Compare tother.
- n. music A specific pitch.
- n. music (in the diatonic scale) An interval of a major second.
- n. music (in a Gregorian chant) A recitational melody.
- n. The character of a sound, especially the timbre of an instrument or voice.
- n. General character, mood, or trend.
- n. linguistics The pitch of a word that distinguishes a difference in meaning, for example in Chinese.
- n. literature The manner in which speech or writing is expressed.
- n. The shade or quality of a colour.
- n. The definition and firmness of a muscle or organ. see also: tonus
- n. 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.
- n. biology Normal tension or responsiveness to stimuli.
- v. transitive to give a particular tone to
- v. transitive to change the colour of
- v. transitive to make (something) firmer
- v. intransitive to harmonize, especially in colour
- pro. now dialectal The one (of two).
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Sound, or the character of a sound, or a sound considered as of this or that character.
- n. (Rhet.) Accent, or inflection or modulation of the voice, as adapted to express emotion or passion.
- n. A whining style of speaking; a kind of mournful or artificial strain of voice; an affected speaking with a measured rhythm ahd a regular rise and fall of the voice.
- n. A sound considered as to pitch
- n. The larger kind of interval between contiguous sounds in the diatonic scale, the smaller being called a
semitoneas, a whole tonetoo flat; raise it a tone.
- n. The peculiar quality of sound in any voice or instrument.
- n. A mode or tune or plain chant.
- n. (Med.) That state of a body, or of any of its organs or parts, in which the animal functions are healthy and performed with due vigor.
- n. (Physiol.) Tonicity.
- n. State of mind; temper; mood.
- n. Tenor; character; spirit; drift.
- n. General or prevailing character or style, as of morals, manners, or sentiment, in reference to a scale of high and low.
- n. The general effect of a picture produced by the combination of light and shade, together with color in the case of a painting; -- commonly used in a favorable sense.
- n. (Physiol.) Quality, with respect to attendant feeling; the more or less variable complex of emotion accompanying and characterizing a sensation or a conceptual state.
- n. Color quality proper; -- called also
hue. Also, a gradation of color, either a hue, or a tint or shade.
- n. (Plant Physiol.) The condition of normal balance of a healthy plant in its relations to light, heat, and moisture.
- v. To utter with an affected tone.
- v. To give tone, or a particular tone, to; to tune. See Tune, v. t.
- v. (Photog.) To bring, as a print, to a certain required shade of color, as by chemical treatment.
- n. (music) the distinctive property of a complex sound (a voice or noise or musical sound)
- n. a musical interval of two semitones
- n. the general atmosphere of a place or situation and the effect that it has on people
- n. the quality of something (an act or a piece of writing) that reveals the attitudes and presuppositions of the author
- n. a notation representing the pitch and duration of a musical sound
- v. change to a color image
- n. the elastic tension of living muscles, arteries, etc. that facilitate response to stimuli
- n. the quality of a person's voice
- n. a quality of a given color that differs slightly from another color
- v. utter monotonously and repetitively and rhythmically
- v. vary the pitch of one's speech
- n. (linguistics) a pitch or change in pitch of the voice that serves to distinguish words in tonal languages
- n. a steady sound without overtones
- v. change the color or tone of
- v. give a healthy elasticity to
- From Middle English tone, ton, toon, from the incorrect division of thet one ("the/that one"). Compare Scots tane in the tane; see also tother. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English ton, from Old French, from Latin tonus, from Greek tonos, string, a stretching. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Because the tone can be heard on pairs other than the one you put it on, when tone or tone+ are inappropriate.”
“_Leading tone_ -- the tone which demands resolution to the tonic (one-half step above it).”
“There is no particular basis for this theory, for although all scales must of course begin with the key-tone or tonic, this tonic may be referred to by any syllable which will serve as a basis for an association process enabling one to feel the force of the tone as a closing point -- a _home tone_.”
“Many teachers are replacing the word _chromatic_ in this sense with the term _intermediate tone_, this term being applicable whether the foreign tone is actually used for ornamental purposes as a _chromatic_, or to effect a modulation.”
“It's all tone with Chopin -- _tone_, my child, even in the most bravura passages.”
“-- The most natural and characteristic indication of a cadence is the _longer tone_, seen in the examples to which reference has just been made; for a tone of greater length than its fellows is, in itself, the most conclusive evidence of a point of repose, as compared with the shorter tones in the course of the sentence, whose more prompt succession indicates the action of the phrase.”
“This shows that _for every tone an air column of a certain size most powerfully reinforces that tone_.”
“Therefore, instead of producing tone by local effort, by conscious muscular action of any sort, correctly _think the tone_, correctly shape and color it _mentally_.”
“Just so, we talk of _tone_ in coloring, and of a _heavy_ or _light_ sound; though, of course, in their proper significance, tone belongs only to sound, and heaviness to gravitating bodies.”
“_tan_ we have in Greek _tonos_, our tone, _tone_ being produced by the stretching and vibrating of cords.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘tone’.
Words that make other words with the addition of one letter at the beginning. The resulting words are tagged "behead".
Positive words and vague promises. THE words and expressions to use when you want to win over the masses or just don't know what to say.
"CAPITAL" stands for the administrative capital...
Being a list of words which have "specifically" in their definitions.
With focus on non-classical styles, but not excluding terms of the latter.
words about central ideas and actions
Verbs you can both "up" and "down".
Note: I prefer examples where the two senses aren't perfect opposites, e.g. warm up / warm down.
This list is designed to be a reference for my AP Lit. students
All my favourite words that I come across!
If I've seen it, heard it, or marvelled at it, I'll stick it here.
Very basic words for ESL students.
Words I like to use, words I like but may forget.
Looking for tweets for tone.