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English definition of “tone”

tone

noun uk   /təʊn/ us    /toʊn/

tone noun (VOICE EXPRESSION)

B2 [U] a quality in the voice that expresses the speaker's feelings or thoughts, often towards the person being spoken to: I tried to use a sympathetic tone of voice. Don't speak to me in that tone of voice (= angrily), young lady! It wasn't so much what she said that annoyed me - it was her tone. tones [plural] literary the quality of someone's voice: She recounted the story to me in shocked tones (= in a shocked voice). For more than half a century, the reassuring tones of BBC newscasters have informed British television viewers about world events. [U] specialized phonetics a change in how high or low the voice is that can change the meaning of a word or sentence

tone noun (GENERAL MOOD)

C2 [S] the general mood or main qualities of something: I didn't like the jokey tone of the article - I thought it inappropriate. Trust you to lower the tone of the evening by telling vulgar jokes, Martin! Well, I thought it might raise the moral tone of the evening if I invited a vicar to the party. He was in a very bad mood when he arrived, and that set the tone for the whole meeting.

tone noun (COLOUR)

[C] a form or degree of a colour: warm tones of brown and yellow

tone noun (TIGHTNESS)

[U] the healthy tightness of the body, especially the muscles: After you've had a baby you lose the muscle tone in your stomach.

tone noun (DIFFERENCE IN SOUND)

[C] (US also step) the largest difference in sound between two notes that are next to each other in the western musical scale: The interval from G to A is a whole tone.

tone noun (MUSICAL QUALITY)

[C or U] the quality of sound of a musical instrument or singing voice: the beautiful rich tones of his tenor voice

tone noun (PHONE NOISE)

B2 [C] one of the continuous sounds that you hear on a phone that tell you if the other phone is ringing, if it is engaged, etc.: I've called him several times but I keep getting the engaged tone. Please wait until you hear the dialling tone (US dial tone) (= the sound that a phone makes when it is ready to be used).

tone

verb [T] uk   /təʊn/ us    /toʊn/ (also tone up)
If you tone a part of the body, you make it firmer and stronger, usually by taking physical exercise: This is a good exercise for toning up the thighs.
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of tone from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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