Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “tone”

See all translations

tone

noun  /toʊn/ us  

tone noun (VOICE EXPRESSION)

[U] a quality in the voice, esp. one that expresses the speaker’s feelings, often toward the person being addressed: His tone was apologetic.

tone noun (MOOD)

[U] the mood or general feeling of something: The tone of his remarks was confident and reassuring. literature [U] The tone of a piece of writing expresses the writer's attitude toward the subject or the reader: The angry tone of this essay reveals her feelings about the war.

tone noun (SOUND)

[C usually sing] a musical, mechanical, or voice sound on one note: If you wish to leave a message, please wait until after the tone.

tone noun (MUSICAL QUALITY)

[C/U] music the quality of sound of a musical instrument or singing voice [C/U] music A tone is also a step .

tone noun (FIRM QUALITY)

[U] (esp. of muscles) the quality of being healthy and firm: Swimming helps to develop good muscle tone.

tone noun (COLOR)

art [C] a feature of color related to its brightness or the amount of light it reflects
(Definition of tone from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of tone?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “tone” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

white Christmas

a Christmas when it snows

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More