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 basic interval in classical Western music, equal to two semitones; a major second. 5) the particular quality of brightness, deepness, or hue of a colour. 6) the general effect of colour or of light and shade in a picture. 7) the normal level of firmness or slight contraction in a resting muscle.
VERB 1) (often tone up) give greater strength or firmness to (the body or a muscle). 2) (tone down) make less harsh, extreme, or intense. 3) (tone with) harmonize with in terms of colour.
DERIVATIVES toned adjective toneless adjective.
ORIGIN Greek tonos 'tension, tone' , from teinein 'to stretch' .

English terms dictionary. 2015.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Toneless — Tone less, a. Having no tone; unmusical. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • toneless — tone|less [ˈtəunləs US ˈtoun ] adj a toneless voice does not express any feelings ▪ I m sorry, he said, in a flat toneless voice …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • toneless — [[t]to͟ʊnləs[/t]] ADJ GRADED A toneless voice is dull and does not express any feeling. [WRITTEN] What shall we do? Milton said again in a toneless voice. Derived words: tonelessly ADV GRADED ADV after v That s most kind of him, Eleanor said… …   English dictionary

  • toneless — adjective a toneless voice does not express any feelings: “I m sorry,” he said, in a flat toneless voice. tonelessly adverb …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • toneless — adjective Date: 1773 lacking in tone, modulation, or expression < a toneless voice > • tonelessly adverb • tonelessness noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • toneless — tone|less [ tounləs ] adjective a toneless voice does not express any emotion ╾ tone|less|ly adverb …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • toneless — UK [ˈtəʊnləs] / US [ˈtoʊnləs] adjective a toneless voice does not express any emotion Derived word: tonelessly adverb …   English dictionary

  • toneless — adjective lacking in tone or expression his toneless mechanical voice • Ant: ↑toned …   Useful english dictionary

  • toneless — tone·less (tōnʹlĭs) adj. 1. Lacking tone. 2. Lacking vitality; listless.   toneʹless·ly adv. toneʹless·ness n. * * * …   Universalium

  • toneless — adjective a) lacking tone or expression b) lacking vitality; listless …   Wiktionary

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