The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
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
(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
To tone up, to cause to give a higher tone or sound; to
give a higher tone to; to make more intense; to heighten;