tone


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Tone \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. Monotonous, Thunder, Ton fashion,
   Tune.]
   1. 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 tone.
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            [Harmony divine] smooths her charming tones.
                                                  --Milton.
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            Tones that with seraph hymns might blend. --Keble.
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   2. (Rhet.) Accent, or inflection or modulation of the voice,
      as adapted to express emotion or passion.
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            Eager his tone, and ardent were his eyes. --Dryden.
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   3. 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 tone.
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   4. (Mus.)
      (a) A sound considered as to pitch; as, the seven tones of
          the octave; she has good high tones.
      (b) 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.
      (c) The peculiar quality of sound in any voice or
          instrument; as, a rich tone, a reedy tone.
      (d) A mode or tune or plain chant; as, the Gregorian
          tones.
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   Note: 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.
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   Note: 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.
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   5. (Med.) 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.
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   Note: In this sense, the word is metaphorically applied to
         character or faculties, intellectual and moral; as, his
         mind has lost its tone.
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   6. (Physiol.) Tonicity; as, arterial tone.
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   7. State of mind; temper; mood.
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            The strange situation I am in and the melancholy
            state of public affairs, . . . drag the mind down .
            . . from a philosophical tone or temper, to the
            drudgery of private and public business.
                                                  --Bolingbroke.
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            Their tone was dissatisfied, almost menacing. --W.
                                                  C. Bryant.
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   8. Tenor; character; spirit; drift; as, the tone of his
      remarks was commendatory.
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   9. General or prevailing character or style, as of morals,
      manners, or sentiment, in reference to a scale of high and
      low; as, a low tone of morals; a tone of elevated
      sentiment; a courtly tone of manners.
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   10. 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 tone.
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   11. (Physiol.) Quality, with respect to attendant feeling;
       the more or less variable complex of emotion accompanying
       and characterizing a sensation or a conceptual state; as,
       feeling tone; color tone.
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   12. Color quality proper; -- called also hue. Also, a
       gradation of color, either a hue, or a tint or shade.

             She was dressed in a soft cloth of a gray tone.
                                                  --Sir G.
                                                  Parker.
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   13. (Plant Physiol.) The condition of normal balance of a
       healthy plant in its relations to light, heat, and
       moisture.
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   Tone color. (Mus.) see the Note under def. 4, above.

   Tone syllable, an accented syllable. --M. Stuart.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Tone \Tone\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Toned; p. pr. & vb. n.
   Toning.]
   1. To utter with an affected tone.
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   2. To give tone, or a particular tone, to; to tune. See
      Tune, v. t.
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   3. (Photog.) To bring, as a print, to a certain required
      shade of color, as by chemical treatment.
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   To tone down.
      (a) To cause to give lower tone or sound; to give a lower
          tone to.
      (b) (Paint.) To modify, as color, by making it less
          brilliant or less crude; to modify, as a composition
          of color, by making it more harmonius.
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                Its thousand hues toned down harmoniusly. --C.
                                                  Kingsley.
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      (c) Fig.: To moderate or relax; to diminish or weaken the
          striking characteristics of; to soften.
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                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 down their religious
                strictures.                       --Palfrey.
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   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.
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