English dictionary



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English noun: tone

1. tone (communication) the quality of a person's voice


SamplesHe began in a conversational tone.
He spoke in a nervous tone of voice.


Synonymstone of voice


Broader (hypernym)delivery, manner of speaking, speech


Narrower (hyponym)note, rotundity, roundness, undertone

2. tone (attribute) (linguistics) a pitch or change in pitch of the voice that serves to distinguish words in tonal languages


SamplesThe Beijing dialect uses four tones.


Broader (hypernym)pitch


Domain categorylinguistics

3. tone (attribute) (music) the distinctive property of a complex sound (a voice or noise or musical sound)


SamplesThe timbre of her soprano was rich and lovely.
The muffled tones of the broken bell summoned them to meet.


Synonymsquality, timber, timbre


Broader (hypernym)sound property


Narrower (hyponym)color, coloration, colour, colouration, harmonic, nasality, plangency, register, resonance, resonance, reverberance, ringing, shrillness, sonority, sonorousness, stridence, stridency, vibrancy


Domain categorymusic

4. tone (state) the general atmosphere of a place or situation and the effect that it has on people


SamplesThe feel of the city excited him.
A clergyman improved the tone of the meeting.
It had the smell of treason.


Synonymsfeel, feeling, flavor, flavour, look, smell, spirit


Broader (hypernym)ambiance, ambience, atmosphere


Narrower (hyponym)Hollywood, Zeitgeist

5. tone (attribute) a quality of a given color that differs slightly from another color


SamplesAfter several trials he mixed the shade of pink that she wanted.


Synonymsshade, tincture, tint


Broader (hypernym)color, coloring, colour, colouring


Narrower (hyponym)mellowness, richness, tinge, undertone

6. tone (communication) a notation representing the pitch and duration of a musical sound


SamplesThe singer held the note too long.


Synonymsmusical note, note


Broader (hypernym)musical notation


Narrower (hyponym)acciaccatura, appoggiatura, blue note, chord, crotchet, demisemiquaver, dominant, eighth note, grace note, half note, hemidemisemiquaver, keynote, leading tone, mediant, middle C, minim, monotone, passing note, passing tone, pedal, pedal point, quarter note, quaver, semibreve, semiquaver, shake, sixteenth note, sixty-fourth note, subdominant, submediant, subtonic, supertonic, thirty-second note, tonic, trill, whole note


Member meronymmusical scale, scale

7. tone (cognition) a steady sound without overtones


SamplesThey tested his hearing with pure tones of different frequencies.


Synonymspure tone


Broader (hypernym)auditory sensation, sound


Narrower (hyponym)harmonic

8. tone (state) the elastic tension of living muscles, arteries, etc. that facilitate response to stimuli


SamplesThe doctor tested my tonicity.


Synonymstonicity, tonus


Broader (hypernym)tautness, tenseness, tension, tensity


Narrower (hyponym)catatonia, hypertonia, hypertonicity, hypertonus, hypotonia, hypotonicity, hypotonus, muscle tone, muscular tonus, myotonia


Domain categorymuscle, muscular tissue


Antonymsamyotonia, atonia, atonicity, atony

9. tone (communication) a musical interval of two semitones


Synonymsstep, whole step, whole tone


Broader (hypernym)interval, musical interval

10. tone (attribute) the quality of something (an act or a piece of writing) that reveals the attitudes and presuppositions of the author


SamplesThe general tone of articles appearing in the newspapers is that the government should withdraw.
From the tone of her behavior I gathered that I had outstayed my welcome.


Broader (hypernym)quality


English verb: tone

1. tone (communication) utter monotonously and repetitively and rhythmically


SamplesThe students chanted the same slogan over and over again.


Synonymschant, intone


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something


Broader (hypernym)mouth, speak, talk, utter, verbalise, verbalize

2. tone (communication) vary the pitch of one's speech


Synonymsinflect, modulate


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something


Broader (hypernym)mouth, speak, talk, utter, verbalise, verbalize

3. tone (change) change the color or tone of


SamplesTone a negative.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Something ----s something


Broader (hypernym)color, colour, discolor, discolour

4. tone (change) change to a color image


SamplesTone a photographic image.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Something ----s something


Broader (hypernym)color, color in, colorise, colorize, colour, colour in, colourise, colourize

5. tone (body) give a healthy elasticity to


SamplesLet's tone our muscles.


Synonymsstrengthen, tone up


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something


Broader (hypernym)exercise, work out









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