Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “set the tone (for something)”

set the tone (for something)

to establish a particular mood or character for something: The governor's speech set the tone for the whole conference. The good financial news set an optimistic tone for the year.
(Definition of set the tone (for something) from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Word of the Day


showing a wish to help or bring advantages to others, even if it results in disadvantage for yourself

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More