Tune vs Tone - What's the difference?

tune | tone | Related terms |

Tone is a related term of tune.

Tune is a related term of tone.

As nouns the difference between tune and tone

is that tune is a melody while tone is (music) a specific pitch.

As verbs the difference between tune and tone

is that tune is to modify a musical instrument so that it produces the correct pitches while tone is to give a particular tone to.

As a pronoun tone is

the one (of two).



(wikipedia tune)


(en noun)
  • A melody.
  • A song, or short musical composition.
  • (informal) The act of tuning or maintenance.
  • Your engine needs a good tune .
  • The state or condition of being correctly tuned.
  • Your engine is now in tune .
    This piano is not in tune .
  • (UK, slang) A very good song.
  • You heard the new Rizzle Kicks song? —Mate, that is a tune !
  • (obsolete) A sound; a note; a tone.
  • * Shakespeare
  • the tune of your voices
  • (obsolete) Order; harmony; concord.
  • * John Locke
  • A child will learn three times as much when he is in tune , as when he is dragged unwillingly to [his task].

    Derived terms

    * change one's tune * in tune * out of tune * to the tune of * carry a tune


  • To modify a musical instrument so that it produces the correct pitches.
  • to tune a piano or a violin
  • * Dryden
  • Tune your harps.
  • To adjust a mechanical, electric or electronic device (such as a radio or a car engine) so that it functions optimally.
  • To make more precise, intense, or effective; to put into a proper state or disposition.
  • (Shakespeare)
  • To give tone to; to attune; to adapt in style of music; to make harmonious.
  • * Milton
  • For now to sorrow must I tune my song.
  • To sing with melody or harmony.
  • * Milton
  • Fountains, and ye, that warble, as ye flow, / Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise.
  • (South Africa, slang, transitive) To cheek; to be impudent towards.
  • Are you tuning me?

    Derived terms

    * fine-tune * stay tuned * tune in * * tuner * tune out * tune up


    * ----



    (wikipedia tone)

    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) ton, from (etyl)


    (en noun)
  • (music) A specific pitch.
  • (music) (in the diatonic scale ) An interval of a major second.
  • (music) (in a Gregorian chant ) A recitational melody.
  • The character of a sound, especially the timbre of an instrument or voice.
  • General character, mood, or trend.
  • Her rousing speech gave an upbeat tone to the rest of the evening.
  • (linguistics) The pitch of a word that distinguishes a difference in meaning, for example in Chinese.
  • (dated) A whining style of speaking; a kind of mournful or artificial strain of voice; an affected speaking with a measured rhythm and a regular rise and fall of the voice.
  • Children often read with a tone .
  • (literature) The manner in which speech or writing is expressed.
  • * W. C. Bryant
  • Their tone was dissatisfied, almost menacing.
  • (obsolete) State of mind; temper; mood.
  • * Bolingbroke
  • The strange situation I am in and the melancholy state of public affairs, from a philosophical tone or temper, to the drudgery of private and public business.
  • The shade or quality of a colour.
  • The favourable effect of a picture produced by the combination of light and shade, or of colours.
  • This picture has tone .
  • The definition and firmness of a muscle or organ. see also: tonus
  • (biology) The state of a living body or of any of its organs or parts in which the functions are healthy and performed with due vigor.
  • (biology) Normal tension or responsiveness to stimuli.
  • Synonyms
    * (an interval of a major second ): whole tone
    Derived terms
    * dial tone * halftone * muscle tone * semitone * tonebar, tone bar * tone of voice


  • to give a particular tone to
  • to change the colour of
  • to make (something) firmer
  • to harmonize, especially in colour
  • To utter with an affected tone.
  • Synonyms
    * (give a particular tone to) * (change the colour of) color/colour, dye, paint, tint * (make firmer) firm, firm up, tone up * (harmonize) harmonise/harmonize * (utter with an affected tone)
    Derived terms
    * toned * tone down * toner * tone up * tony, toney (affected tone)

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl) tone, ton, toon, from the incorrect division of ; see also (l).


    (English Pronouns)
  • The one (of two).
  • *, Bk.X, Ch.lxiij:
  • *:So wythin the thirde day, there cam to the cité thes two brethirne: the tone hyght Sir Helyus and the other hyght Helake
  • Statistics



    * Eton * note ----