tonetone1 /təʊn $ toʊn/ ●●○S3W2 noun1voice [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 toneThere 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)2sound [countable, uncountable]CSSOUND the quality of a sound, especially the sound of a musicalinstrument or someone’s voice → pitch, timbrethe guitar’s clean tonein ... tonesThey 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 voice3general feeling/attitude [singular, uncountable]ATTITUDE the general feeling or attitude expressed in a piece of writing, a speech, an activity etctone ofThe tone of the report was radical.The meetings were noted for their deeply religious tone.in toneThe 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.4colour [countable, uncountable]CC one of the many types of a particular colour, each slightly darker, lighter, brighter etc than the nextSYN shade, → tonaltone ofdifferent tones of greenPerhaps a darker tone would be better.your skin tone (=the colour of your skin)in toneThe dried colour is slightly deeper in tone than it appears when first applied. →two-tone► see thesaurus at colour5electronic sound [countable]CSSOUND a sound made by electronic equipment, such as a telephonePlease 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)7body [uncountable] technicalHEALTHY how firm and strong your muscles or skin areA regular brisk walk will improve muscle tone.8music [countable] technicalAPM the difference in pitch between two musical notes that are separated by one key on the pianoSYN step American English9voice levelSL [countable] technical how high or low your voice is when you produce different soundsThere 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.
tonetone2 (also tone up) verb [transitive]DCBto improve the strength and firmness of your muscles, skin etcExercise 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 Corpus
tone• 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 wildagitation.• 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.Origintone1(1200-1300)Latintonus“tension, tone”, from Greektonos