Definition of tone something down in English:

tone something down

phrasal verb

  • 1Make something less harsh in sound or colour.

    ‘a green-tinged moisturizer helps to tone down a ruddy complexion’
    • ‘Would it really have detracted if the big keyboard synth sounds had been toned down to a minimum?’
    • ‘Susan picked this colour for the walls, and toned it down with white to produce the shade she wanted, and the result is admirable.’
    • ‘We have gone away from the bright colour scheme and toned it down slightly.’
    • ‘Instead of her usual style where bright, fluorescent colours stand out, this time the colour palette is toned down and the concentration is on darker shades.’
    • ‘I would suggest toning the colours down a bit, so it's not quite so harsh on the eyes’
    • ‘The synths had been toned down, replaced with tired guitar sounds.’
    • ‘Coat lipstick with a darker lip gloss to tone it down.’
    • ‘When you've been sunbathing and your skin has a slight lobster tinge, don't wear a light colour that night - dark colours will tone down the burnt effect.’
    • ‘The second way is to spot meter the scene calculating the dark area that you want to expose for and also the highlight area that you want to tone down.’
    subdue, make less garish, soften, lighten, dim, mute
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    1. 1.1Make something less extreme or intense.
      ‘she saw the need to tone down her protests’
      • ‘Brendan heard himself being melodramatic and toned it down a couple of notches.’
      • ‘We had some very bruising sessions, so bruising that Clive had to step in and ask the players to tone it down.’
      • ‘Critics last night claimed the report had been toned down because of concerns that its most ‘extreme’ findings would ruffle too many feathers within the establishment.’
      • ‘To move to the next level, however, the chain needed to tone down its image a bit.’
      • ‘My mother asked if it was possible for me to tone the show down a bit for her.’
      • ‘When she realized how flirtatious that sounded, Jessica toned it down a bit.’
      • ‘When every other punk band was playing as fast as they could and spewing left-wing rhetoric, these guys were toning it down a notch, providing a more emotive and reflective tone and a poppier sound.’
      • ‘I think that they could pull the country together a lot better by just toning the rhetoric down a bit.’
      • ‘Even though they said they wanted to shock and offend, when it came right down to it, the network toned the content down.’
      • ‘Next time, boys, it may be possible to tone it down just a notch without losing any of the entertainment value.’
      moderate, modify, modulate, mitigate, temper, dampen, soften, lighten
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