From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishtonetone1 /təʊn $ toʊn/ ●●○ S3 W2 noun 1 voice [countable]EXPRESS the way your voice sounds, which shows how you are feeling or what you meanin a ... tone ‘You must be Annie, ’ he said in a friendly tone.in somebody’s tone There was urgency in his tone. Her tone was sharp with anger. It was obvious from her tone of voice that she didn’t like me.don’t take that tone with me (=do not speak to me in that rude or unpleasant way)2 sound [countable, uncountable]CSSOUND the quality of a sound, especially the sound of a musical instrument or someone’s voice → pitch, timbre the guitar’s clean tonein ... tones They talked in hushed tones. ‘No I didn’t, ’ he said in a low tone (=quietly).deep-toned/even-toned/shrill-toned etc (=having a low, calm etc tone) an even-toned voice3 general feeling/attitude [singular, uncountable]ATTITUDE the general feeling or attitude expressed in a piece of writing, a speech, an activity etctone of The tone of the report was radical. The meetings were noted for their deeply religious tone.in tone The article was moderate in tone.set the tone (for/of something) (=establish the general attitude or feeling of an event, activity etc) Opening remarks are important since they set the tone for the rest of the interview.4 colour [countable, uncountable]CC one of the many types of a particular colour, each slightly darker, lighter, brighter etc than the next SYN shade, → tonaltone of different tones of green Perhaps a darker tone would be better. your skin tone (=the colour of your skin)in tone The dried colour is slightly deeper in tone than it appears when first applied. → two-tone► see thesaurus at colour5 electronic sound [countable]CSSOUND a sound made by electronic equipment, such as a telephone Please leave a message after the tone.dialling tone British English, dial tone American English (=the sound you hear when you pick up the telephone that lets you know that you can make a call)engaged tone British English, busy tone American English (=the sound you hear when you telephone someone but they are already talking to someone else)6 → raise/lower the tone (of something)7 body [uncountable] technicalHEALTHY how firm and strong your muscles or skin are A regular brisk walk will improve muscle tone. 8 music [countable] technicalAPM the difference in pitch between two musical notes that are separated by one key on the piano SYN step American English9 voice levelSL [countable] technical how high or low your voice is when you produce different sounds There is a falling tone on the first syllable and a rising tone on the other.COLLOCATIONS – Meanings 1 & 2adjectivesconversational (=informal and friendly)I tried to keep my tone pleasant and conversational.conciliatory (=showing that you do not want to be involved in an argument with someone)She used a more conciliatory tone.matter-of-fact (=showing no emotion when what you are saying is exciting, frightening, upsetting, etc )His tone was matter-of-fact, but she noticed he was shaking.measured (=very carefully controlled)He spoke slowly, in a calm and measured tone.clipped tones (=quick and clear, but not very friendly)Davis’s secretary informed him in clipped tones: ‘Mr Davis is not here.’low/quiet/hushed tonesThey sat at the far end of the carriage, talking in hushed tones.somebody’s dulcet tones (=a very sweet and gentle voice – often used humorously to mean the opposite)I could hear Martha’s dulcet tones bellowing that dinner was ready.phrasesa tone of voiceTry talking to the child in a firm but soothing tone of voice.
Examples from the Corpustone• I often detect a tone of regret in her voice.• As a whole, body outline and tone show a horse's level of excitement, while other cues indicate the reasons.• The natural color of the clay communicates its earthy source and the smoky black tones on the surface suggest an ancient origin.• When he called at noon, her answering machine emitted a long series of beeps followed by a dial tone.• ''This is Julia'', Jo said, in a friendly tone.• There was a general tone of ill-concealed glee in the reporting of this most spectacular flop in the corporation's history.• Her shabby appearance and the battered portmanteau had weighed heavily against the genteel tone of her voice.• He kept his tone formal.• His tone was hesitant.• Mary ushered her into the church, speaking in hushed tones.• She was speaking in a rather irritated tone.• A lighter tone of yellow would look better in the kitchen.• She was almost hypnotised by his mellow tone of voice.• Swimming improves your muscle tone.• Tony's guitar has a nice tone.• He did not mind being flippant about New York, but disliked to hear any one else take the same tone.• The tone of the play is very moralistic.in a ... tone• In tone and substance, though, both of us remain more or less true to our roots.• The words were bluesy in tone and subject matter, but the rhythms and voices were fresh and new.• The cries changed in tone, rising, terrified.• But despite their close similarity there is a marked difference in emphasis and tone between the two versions.• His speech lasted three and a half hours; most of it he read quickly in an even tone.• On our right rose Kitchen Mesa, shimmering in rich tones of cinnamon, burnt orange and tapioca.• Their names were harsh, aggressive, Vorticist in tone - Scour!in ... tones• Faber-Castell have a similar range of Pitt Artists' Crayons in earth tones, plus black and white.• Most of these recollections are delivered in controlled tones, though clearly not all.• All pluck and pomp, it rang throughout the hall in dulcet tones as never before.• They could hear him making his point in fortissimo Anglo-Saxon tones.• It may be rich in vocabulary, a powerful hypnotic force, of spoken in gentle tones of subtle persuasion.in tone• Although liberal in tone , the 1787 Constitution did not abolish slavery.skin tone• Being a water-based mousse, it's ultra light to apply and blends in perfectly with your natural skin tone.• Above her elbow, the flesh displayed a normal skin tone.• To an outsider, the contrasts of this nation reach far beyond the black and white of skin tones.• It was as though Norman Rockwell had discovered a new, slightly more tan, skin tone.• It seems to be more a matter of personality than skin tone.• The skin tone, the shine on the dark hair, the thick sweep of lashes, were lifelike.• You simply press the touch-pad which corresponds to your hair colour and the one which corresponds to your skin tone.dial tone• When he called at noon, her answering machine emitted a long series of beeps followed by a dial tone.• When he tried to call again, he could no longer get a dial tone.• You should have heard a dial tone, a ringing sound, then burbling tones.• Previous years were ok once you got the sought after dial tone.• An old Bakelite telephone responds with a crackling dial tone.• He lifted it carefully and got no dial tone then saw the plungers were taped down.• You should be able to feel the dial tone burr. 2.• There was a click, but she stood listening to the dial tone, steadied by its urgent drone.muscle tone• They looked fantastic, all appealing muscle tone and clean, well-conditioned hair.• She also pointed out balance, muscle tone, and motor planning problems.• Someday these exigencies will show up as bad skin and collapsed muscle tone.• So the purpose is one, do you want to develop muscle tone.• We are taken to a place where characters have nice little problems and impressive muscle tone.• A baby with low muscle tone has a slumped posture and is slow to sit up.• These can be very helpful in cases where lack of muscle tone is the main reason for incontinence.• Atonic seizures are characterized by a sudden loss of postural muscle tone.• Weight lifting will improve your muscle tone.tonetone2 (also tone up) verb [transitive] DCBto improve the strength and firmness of your muscles, skin etc Exercise can strengthen and tone muscles. He began to use weights in order to tone up his body. a well-toned body → tone something ↔ down → tone in→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpustone• This is not tone 4, it denotes more data present.• Leaning her head back against the sofa, she closed her eyes, trying consciously to tone down her wild agitation.• I find the proof of this use in the general toning down of the color range during the last few years.• It cleanses and tones your skin.Origin tone1 (1200-1300) Latin tonus “tension, tone”, from Greek tonos