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tone (n.)

mid-14c., "musical sound or note," from Old French ton "musical sound, speech, words" (13c.) and directly from Latin tonus "a sound, tone, accent," literally "stretching" (in Medieval Latin, a term peculiar to music), from Greek tonos "vocal pitch, raising of voice, accent, key in music," originally "a stretching, tightening, taut string," related to teinein "to stretch," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch." Sense of "manner of speaking" is from c. 1600. First reference to firmness of body is from 1660s. As "prevailing state of manners" from 1735; as "style in speaking or writing which reveals attitude" from 1765. Tone-deaf is from 1880; tone-poem from 1845.

tone (v.)

"to impart tone to," 1811, from tone (n.). Related: Toned; toning. To tone (something) down originally was in painting (1831); general sense of "reduce, moderate" is by 1847.

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Definitions of tone from WordNet
1
tone (n.)
the quality of a person's voice;
he spoke in a nervous tone of voice
he began in a conversational tone
Synonyms: tone of voice
tone (n.)
(linguistics) a pitch or change in pitch of the voice that serves to distinguish words in tonal languages;
the Beijing dialect uses four tones
tone (n.)
(music) the distinctive property of a complex sound (a voice or noise or musical sound);
the muffled tones of the broken bell summoned them to meet
Synonyms: timbre / timber / quality
tone (n.)
the general atmosphere of a place or situation and the effect that it has on people;
a clergyman improved the tone of the meeting
Synonyms: spirit / feel / feeling / flavor / flavour / look / smell
tone (n.)
a quality of a given color that differs slightly from another color;
Synonyms: shade / tint / tincture
tone (n.)
a notation representing the pitch and duration of a musical sound;
Synonyms: note / musical note
tone (n.)
a steady sound without overtones;
they tested his hearing with pure tones of different frequencies
Synonyms: pure tone
tone (n.)
the elastic tension of living muscles, arteries, etc. that facilitate response to stimuli;
Synonyms: tonicity / tonus
tone (n.)
a musical interval of two semitones;
Synonyms: whole tone / step / whole step
tone (n.)
the quality of something (an act or a piece of writing) that reveals the attitudes and presuppositions of the author;
the general tone of articles appearing in the newspapers is that the government should withdraw
from the tone of her behavior I gathered that I had outstayed my welcome
2
tone (v.)
utter monotonously and repetitively and rhythmically;
Synonyms: chant / intone
tone (v.)
vary the pitch of one's speech;
Synonyms: inflect / modulate
tone (v.)
change the color or tone of;
tone a negative
tone (v.)
change to a color image;
tone a photographic image
tone (v.)
give a healthy elasticity to;
Let's tone our muscles
Synonyms: tone up / strengthen
From wordnet.princeton.edu