tone

Definitions

General English

  • noun a way of saying something, or of writing something, which shows a particular feeling

Aviation

Electronics

  • An audible sound which usually has a definite frequency, specific characteristics such as harmonics, and a given duration.
  • The timbre of a given instrument, sound, or voice.
  • The characteristics or sensory perceptions elicited by colors, sounds, or the like. For example, the audio characteristics of a room, or the quality of a given color.

Media Studies

  • noun the impression given by a text or media product of its creator’s attitude, e.g. serious, humorous etc.
  • noun the quality of a sound that makes it distinctive, e.g. in a voice or musical instrument
  • noun a signal sent before an audio feed for technicians so that they can set levels

Medical

  • noun the slightly tense state of a healthy muscle when it is not fully relaxed.
  • synonymtonicity
  • synonymtonus

Publishing

  • noun a shade of colour

Sports

  • verb to make muscles firmer and stronger

Travel

  • noun a noise made by a machine such as a telephone

Origin & History of “tone”

English acquired tone via Old French ton and Latin tonus from Greek tónos ‘stretching, tension’, hence ‘sound’. this in turn went back to the Indo-European base *ton-, *ten- ‘stretch’, which also produced English tend, tense, thin, etc. The semantic transference from ‘tension’ to ‘sound’ may have arisen from the notion of tightening the strings of a musical instrument, but it could also be due to association with another Indo-European base *ton-, meaning ‘resound’ (source of English thunder). The derivative tonic (17th c.) comes ultimately from Greek tonikós. Tune is an unexplained variant of tone.
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