SKIP TO CONTENT

tonal

Definitions of tonal
  1. adjective
    having tonality; i.e. tones and chords organized in relation to one tone such as a keynote or tonic
    Synonyms:
    keyed
    set to a key or tone
    diatonic
    based on or using the five tones and two semitones of the major or minor scales of western music
    polytonal
    using more than one key or tonality simultaneously
    toned
    having or characterized or distinguished by tone or a specific tone; often used in combination
    tonic
    relating to or being the keynote of a major or minor scale
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    atonal, unkeyed
    characterized by avoidance of traditional western tonality
  2. adjective
    employing variations in pitch to distinguish meanings of otherwise similar words
    “Chinese is a tonal language”
    synonyms: tonic
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week