tone down

(redirected from toning down)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.

tone down

To make something less intense, ostentatious, or harsh. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tone" and "down." You should really tone down the angry rhetoric in the article, or people won't take it seriously. I get that you're going for a unique look, but your outfit clashes really badly. Try toning it down a bit.
See also: down, tone

tone something down

to cause something to have less of an impact on the senses of sight or sound; to lessen the impact of something prepared for public performance or consumption. This is rather shocking. You had better tone it down a bit. Tone down this paragraph.
See also: down, tone

tone down

Make less vivid, harsh, or violent; moderate. For example, That's a little too much rouge; I'd tone it down a bit, or Do you think I should tone down this letter of complaint? This idiom uses tone in the sense of "adjust the tone or quality of something," as does the antonym, tone up, meaning "brighten or strengthen." For example, These curtains will tone up the whole room, or This exercise is said to tone up the triceps. [Mid-1800s]
See also: down, tone

tone down

v.
To make something less vivid, harsh, or violent; moderate something: We toned down our comedy routine so as not to offend our audience. The decorator suggested a beige material to tone the room down.
See also: down, tone
References in periodicals archive ?
A majority of the women in our survey--58 percent--say that at some time they have changed the way they act in order to fit in or be accepted by whites, and 79 percent of those women say they shifted in the way they communicated, toning down their mannerisms, changing the way they spoke or what they chose to speak about.
And they hope toning down their black and yellow logo will bring in more women voters.
This can be attributed primarily to the influence of negative publicity in the national media, combined with some lenders toning down aggressive sales processes in the face of regulatory scrutiny.
And now they're urgently toning down the outfits so Liz - played by Bev Callard, 53 - doesn't flash the flesh too much.
They'll be acting in the capacity of neutrals, dressing up or toning down a space,'' Zimmer says.