Webster 1913 Edition
Sound, or the character of a sound, or a sound considered as of this or that character;
as, a low, high, loud, grave, acute, sweet, or harsh.
[Harmony divine] smooths her charming
Tonesthat with seraph hymns might blend.
Accent, or inflection or modulation of the voice, as adapted to express emotion or passion.
tone, and ardent were his eyes.
A whining style of speaking; a kind of mournful or artificial strain of voice; an affected speaking with a measured rhythm ahd a regular rise and fall of the voice;
as, children often read with a.
A sound considered as to pitch;
as, the seven
tonesof the octave; she has good high
The larger kind of interval between contiguous sounds in the diatonic scale, the smaller being called a semitone as, a whole tone too flat; raise it a tone.
The peculiar quality of sound in any voice or instrument;
as, a rich.
a reedy tone
A mode or tune or plain chant;
as, the Gregorian.
☞ The use of the word tone, both for a sound and for the interval between two sounds or tones, is confusing, but is common – almost universal.
☞ Nearly every musical sound is composite, consisting of several simultaneous tones having different rates of vibration according to fixed laws, which depend upon the nature of the vibrating body and the mode of excitation. The components (of a composite sound) are called partial tones; that one having the lowest rate of vibration is the fundamental tone, and the other partial tones are called harmonics, or overtones. The vibration ratios of the partial tones composing any sound are expressed by all, or by a part, of the numbers in the series 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.; and the quality of any sound (the tone color) is due in part to the presence or absence of overtones as represented in this series, and in part to the greater or less intensity of those present as compared with the fundamental tone and with one another. Resultant tones, combination tones, summation tones, difference tones, Tartini’s tones (terms only in part synonymous) are produced by the simultaneous sounding of two or more primary (simple or composite) tones.
That state of a body, or of any of its organs or parts, in which the animal functions are healthy and performed with due vigor.
☞ In this sense, the word is metaphorically applied to character or faculties, intellectual and moral; as, his mind has lost its tone.
State of mind; temper; mood.
The strange situation I am in and the melancholy state of public affairs, . . . drag the mind down . . . from a philosophical
toneor temper, to the drudgery of private and public business.
tonewas dissatisfied, almost menacing.
W. C. Bryant.
Tenor; character; spirit; drift;
toneof his remarks was commendatory
General or prevailing character or style, as of morals, manners, or sentiment, in reference to a scale of high and low;
as, a low.
toneof morals; a
toneof elevated sentiment; a courtly
The general effect of a picture produced by the combination of light and shade, together with color in the case of a painting; – commonly used in a favorable sense;
as, this picture has.
see the Note under def. 4, above.–
an accented syllable.
imp. & p. p.
p. pr. & vb. n.
To utter with an affected tone.
To give tone, or a particular tone, to; to tune. See
To bring, as a print, to a certain required shade of color, as by chemical treatment.
To tone down.
To cause to give lower tone or sound; to give a lower tone to.
To modify, as color, by making it less brilliant or less crude; to modify, as a composition of color, by making it more harmonius.
Its thousand hues
(c)Fig.: To moderate or relax; to diminish or weaken the striking characteristics of; to soften.
The best method for the purpose in hand was to employ some one of a character and position suited to get possession of their confidence, and then use it–
to tone downtheir religious strictures.
To tone up,
to cause to give a higher tone or sound; to give a higher tone to; to make more intense; to heighten; to strengthen.
Webster 1828 Edition
1.Sound, or modification of sound; any impulse or vibration of the air which is perceptible by the ear; as a low tone, high tone, or loud tone; a grave tone; an acute tone; a sweet tone; a harsh tone.
2.Accent; or rather, a particular inflection of the voice, adapted to express emotion or passion; a rhetorical sense of the word.
Eager his tone, and ardent were his eyes.
3.A whining sound; a whine; a kind of mournful strain of voice; as, children often read with a tone.
4.An affected sound in speaking.
5.In music, an interval of sound; as, the difference between the diapente and diatessaron, is a tone. Of tones there are two kinds, major and minor. The tone major is in the ratio of 8 to 9, which results from the difference between the fourth and fifth. The tone minor is as 9 to 10, resulting from the difference between the minor third and the fourth.
6.The tone of an instrument, is its peculiar sound with regard to softness, evenness and the like.
7.In medicine,that state of organization in a body, in which the animal functions are healthy and performed with due vigor. Tone, in its primary signification, is tension, and tension is the primary signification of strength. Hence its application to the natural healthy state of animal organs. Tone therefore in medicine, is the strength and activity of the organs, from which proceed healthy functions. So we say, the body is in a sound state, the health is sound or firm.
1.To tune. [See Tune.]