Hypertext Webster Gateway: "tone"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Sensible \Sen"si*ble\, a. [F., fr. L. sensibilis, fr. sensus
1. Capable of being perceived by the senses; apprehensible
through the bodily organs; hence, also, perceptible to the
mind; making an impression upon the sense, reason, or
understanding; ?????? heat; sensible resistance.

Air is sensible to the touch by its motion.

The disgrace was more sensible than the pain. --Sir
W. Temple.

Any very sensible effect upon the prices of things.
--A. Smith.

2. Having the capacity of receiving impressions from external
objects; capable of perceiving by the instrumentality of
the proper organs; liable to be affected physsically or
mentally; impressible.

Would your cambric were sensible as your finger.

3. Hence: Liable to impression from without; easily affected;
having nice perception or acute feeling; sensitive; also,
readily moved or affected by natural agents; delicate; as,
a sensible thermometer. ``With affection wondrous
sensible.'' --Shak.

4. Perceiving or having perception, either by the senses or
the mind; cognizant; perceiving so clearly as to be
convinced; satisfied; persuaded.

He [man] can not think at any time, waking or
sleeping, without being sensible of it. --Locke.

They are now sensible it would have been better to
comply than to refuse. --Addison.

5. Having moral perception; capable of being affected by
moral good or evil.

6. Possessing or containing sense or reason; giftedwith, or
characterized by, good or common sense; intelligent; wise.

Now a sensible man, by and by a fool. --Shak.

{Sensible note} or {tone} (Mus.), the major seventh note of
any scale; -- so called because, being but a half step
below the octave, or key tone, and naturally leading up to
that, it makes the ear sensible of its approaching sound.
Called also the {leading tone}.

{Sensible horizon}. See {Horizon}, n., 2.
(a) .

Syn: Intelligent; wise.

Usage: {Sensible}, {Intelligent}. We call a man sensible
whose judgments and conduct are marked and governed by
sound judgment or good common semse. We call one
intelligent who is quick and clear in his
understanding, i. e., who discriminates readily and
nicely in respect to difficult and important
distinction. The sphere of the sensible man lies in
matters of practical concern; of the intelligent man,
in subjects of intellectual interest. ``I have been
tired with accounts from sensible men, furnished with
matters of fact which have happened within their own
knowledge.'' --Addison. ``Trace out numerous footsteps
. . . of a most wise and intelligent architect
throughout all this stupendous fabric.'' --Woodward.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Tone \Tone\, n.
1. (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.

2. 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.

3. (Plant Physiol.) The condition of normal balance of a
healthy plant in its relations to light, heat, and

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Tone \Tone\, n. [F. ton, L. tonus a sound, tone, fr. Gr. ? a
stretching, straining, raising of the voice, pitch, accent,
measure or meter, in pl., modes or keys differing in pitch;
akin to ? to stretch or strain. See {Thin}, and cf.
{Monotonous}, {Thunder}, {Ton} fasion,{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.

[Harmony divine] smooths her charming tones.

Tones that with seraph hymns might blend. --Keble.

2. (Rhet.) Accent, or inflection or modulation of the voice,
as adapted to express emotion or passion.

Eager his tone, and ardent were his eyes. --Dryden.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Note: In this sense, the word is metaphorically applied to
character or faculties, intellectual and moral; as, his
mind has lost its tone.

6. (Physiol.) Tonicity; as, arterial tone.

7. 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 tone or temper, to the
drudgery of private and public business.

Their tone was dissatisfied, almost menacing. --W.
C. Bryant.

8. Tenor; character; spirit; drift; as, the tone of his
remarks was commendatory.

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.

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.

{Tone color}. (Mus.) see the Note under def. 4, above.

{Tone syllable}, an accented syllable. --M. Stuart.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Tone \Tone\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Toned}; p. pr. & vb. n.
1. To utter with an affected tone.

2. To give tone, or a particular tone, to; to tune. See
{Tune}, v. t.

3. (Photog.) To bring, as a print, to a certain required
shade of color, as by chemical treatment.

{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.

Its thousand hues toned down harmoniusly. --C.
(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 down their religious
strictures. --Palfrey.

{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.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n 1: the quality of a person's voice; "he began in a
conversational tone"; "he spoke in a nervous tone of
voice" [syn: {tone of voice}]
2: (linguistics) a pitch or change in pitch of the voice that
serves to distinguish words in tonal languages; "the
Beijing dialect uses four tones"
3: the distinctive property of a complex sound (a voice or
noise or musical sound); "the timbre of her soprano was
rich and lovely"; "the muffled tones of the broken bell
summoned them to meet" [syn: {timbre}, {timber}, {quality}]
4: the general atmosphere of a place or situation and the
effect that it has on people; "the feel of the city
excited him"; "a clergyman improved the tone of the
meeting"; "it had the smell of treason" [syn: {spirit}, {feel},
{feeling}, {flavor}, {flavour}, {look}, {smell}]
5: a quality of a given color that differs slightly from a
primary color; "after several trials he mixed the shade of
pink that she wanted" [syn: {shade}, {tint}, {tincture}]
6: a notation representing the pitch and duration of a musical
sound; "the singer held the note too long" [syn: {note}, {musical
7: a steady sound without overtones; "they tested his hearing
with pure tones of different frequencies" [syn: {pure tone}]
8: the elastic tension of living muscles, arteries, etc. that
facilitate response to stimuli; "the doctor tested my
tonicity" [syn: {tonicity}, {tonus}] [ant: {atonicity}]
9: a musical interval of two semitones [syn: {whole tone}, {step},
{whole step}]
10: 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
v 1: change the color or tone of
2: change to a color image; of photography
3: give a healthy elasticity to; "Let's tone our muscles" [syn:
{tone up}, {strengthen}]

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