tone


tone
toneless, adj.tonelessly, adv.tonelessness, n.
/tohn/, n., v., toned, toning.
n.
1. any sound considered with reference to its quality, pitch, strength, source, etc.: shrill tones.
2. quality or character of sound.
3. vocal sound; the sound made by vibrating muscular bands in the larynx.
4. a particular quality, way of sounding, modulation, or intonation of the voice as expressive of some meaning, feeling, spirit, etc.: a tone of command.
5. an accent peculiar to a person, people, locality, etc., or a characteristic mode of sounding words in speech.
6. stress of voice on a syllable of a word.
7. Ling. a musical pitch or movement in pitch serving to distinguish two words otherwise composed of the same sounds, as in Chinese.
8. Music.
a. a musical sound of definite pitch, consisting of several relatively simple constituents called partial tones, the lowest of which is called the fundamental tone and the others harmonics or overtones.
b. an interval equivalent to two semitones; a whole tone; a whole step.
c. any of the nine melodies or tunes to which Gregorian plainsong psalms are sung.
9. a quality of color with reference to the degree of absorption or reflection of light; a tint or shade; value.
10. that distinctive quality by which colors differ from one another in addition to their differences indicated by chroma, tint, shade; a slight modification of a given color; hue: green with a yellowish tone.
11. Art. the prevailing effect of harmony of color and values.
12. Physiol.
a. the normal state of tension or responsiveness of the organs or tissues of the body.
b. that state of the body or of an organ in which all its functions are performed with healthy vigor.
c. normal sensitivity to stimulation.
13. a normal healthy mental condition.
14. a particular mental state or disposition; spirit, character, or tenor.
15. a particular style or manner, as of writing or speech; mood: the macabre tone of Poe's stories.
16. prevailing character or style, as of manners, morals, or philosophical outlook: the liberal tone of the 1960's.
17. style, distinction, or elegance.
v.t.
18. to sound with a particular tone.
19. to give the proper tone to (a musical instrument).
20. to modify the tone or general coloring of.
21. to give the desired tone to (a painting, drawing, etc.).
22. Photog. to change the color of (a print), esp. by chemical means.
23. to render as specified in tone or coloring.
24. to modify the tone or character of.
25. to give or restore physical or mental tone to.
v.i.
26. to take on a particular tone; assume color or tint.
27. tone down,
a. to become or cause to become softened or moderated: The newspaper toned down its attack.
b. Painting. to make (a color) less intense in hue; subdue.
28. tone up,
a. to give a higher or stronger tone to.
b. to gain or cause to gain in tone or strength: toning up little-used muscles.
29. tone with or in with, to harmonize in tone or coloring; blend: The painting tones with the room.
[1275-1325; ME (n.) < L tonus < Gk tónos strain, tone, mode, lit., a stretching, akin to teínein to stretch]
Syn. 1. See sound1. 15. spirit, quality, temper.

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I
In linguistics, a variation in the pitch of the voice while speaking.

The term is usually applied to languages (called tone languages) in which pitch differentiates words with an identical sequences of consonants and vowels. For example, man in Mandarin Chinese may mean either "deceive" or "slow," depending on its pitch. In tone languages, what matters is not absolute pitch but the pitch of one word relative to another or how pitch changes within a word.
II
(as used in expressions)
Tone Theobald Wolfe

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sound
      in acoustics, sound that can be recognized by its regularity of vibration. A simple tone has only one frequency, although its intensity may vary. A complex tone consists of two or more simple tones, called overtones (overtone). The tone of lowest frequency is called the fundamental; the others, overtones (overtone). The frequencies of the overtones may be whole multiples (e.g., 2, 3, 4, etc., of the fundamental frequency, in which case they are called the second, third, fourth, etc., harmonics of the fundamental tone, itself known as the first harmonic). A combination of harmonic tones is pleasant to hear and is therefore called a musical tone.

speech
      in linguistics, a variation in the pitch of the voice while speaking. The word tone is usually applied to those languages (called tone languages) in which pitch serves to help distinguish words and grammatical categories—i.e., in which pitch characteristics are used to differentiate one word from another word that is otherwise identical in its sequence of consonants and vowels. For example, man in Mandarin Chinese may mean either “deceive” or “slow,” depending on its pitch.

      In tone languages, pitch is a property of words, but what is important is not absolute pitch but relative pitch. Tone languages usually make use of a limited number of pitch contrasts. These contrasts are called the tones of the language. The domain of the tones is usually the syllable.

      There are two main types of tone languages: register-tone, or level-tone, languages and contour-tone languages. Register-tone languages use tones that are level; i.e., they have relatively steady-state pitches, which differ with regard to being relatively higher or lower. This is characteristic of many tone languages in West Africa. In contour-tone languages at least some of the tones must be described in terms of pitch movements, such as rises and falls or more complex movements such as rise–falls. This is characteristic of many tone languages of Southeast Asia.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Tone — (t[=o]n), n. [F. ton, L. tonus a sound, tone, fr. Gr. to nos a stretching, straining, raising of the voice, pitch, accent, measure or meter, in pl., modes or keys differing in pitch; akin to tei nein to stretch or strain. See {Thin}, and cf.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tone — may refer to: MusicTheory* Pitch (music), the perceived frequency of a note or sound (see also pure tone) * Note, the name of a pitch * Whole tone, or major second, a commonly occurring musical interval * Timbre, the quality of a musical note or… …   Wikipedia

  • tone — [tōn] n. [ME < OFr & L: OFr ton < L tonus, a sound < Gr tonos, a stretching, tone < teinein, to stretch: see THIN] 1. a) a vocal or musical sound b) its quality 2. an intonation, pitch, modulation, etc. of the voice that expresses a… …   English World dictionary

  • Tone — bezeichnet: Personen mit dem Vor , Nach oder Künstlernamen Tone, siehe Tone (Name) mehrere japanische Kriegsschiffe: Tone (1907), ein Geschützter Kreuzer Tone (1938), ein schwerer Kreuzer und Typschiff der Tone Klasse Tone (DE 234), eine U Jagd… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tone — Tone, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Toned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Toning}.] 1. To utter with an affected tone. [1913 Webster] 2. To give tone, or a particular tone, to; to tune. See {Tune}, v. t. [1913 Webster] 3. (Photog.) To bring, as a print, to a certain… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tone — puede referirse a: Lugares: Río Tone (Inglaterra). Un río en Somerset, Inglaterra. Río Tone (Japón). Un río en la región de Kantō. Tone (Ibaraki). Distrito de Tone (Gunma), Japón. Tône, una prefectura en Togo. Barcos: Tone (1910) Tone (1938) Tone …   Wikipedia Español

  • tone in — ˌtone ˈin [intransitive] [present tense I/you/we/they tone in he/she/it tones in present participle toning in past tense …   Useful english dictionary

  • tone — UK US /təʊn/ noun [S] COMMUNICATIONS ► an electronic sound that you hear on a phone line: »Please leave your message after the tone. ● a busy tone Cf. a busy tone → See also DIAL TONE(Cf. ↑dial tone), DIALLING TONE …   Financial and business terms

  • tone — ► NOUN 1) a musical or vocal sound with reference to its pitch, quality, and strength. 2) the sound of a person s voice, expressing a feeling or mood. 3) general character: trust her to lower the tone of the conversation. 4) (also whole tone) a… …   English terms dictionary

  • tone — [n1] pitch, volume accent, emphasis, force, inflection, intonation, modulation, resonance, strength, stress, timbre, tonality; concept 65 tone [n2] attitude, spirit air, approach, aspect, character, condition, current, drift, effect, expression,… …   New thesaurus

  • Tone — Tone, die Rückstände der Verwitterung tonerdehaltiger Silikatgesteine, unterschieden als magere Tone mit größerem, als fette mit geringem Sandgehalt. Ein sehr reiner Ton ist Kaolin (s.d.). Vgl. a. Aluminium …   Lexikon der gesamten Technik


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