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[toh-ner] /ˈtoʊ nər/
a person or thing that tones.
a highly concentrated organic pigment containing little or no inert matter.
a powder, either dry or dispersed in an organic liquid, used in xerography to produce the final image.
Also called chemical toner. Photography, Movies. a chemical solution used to change the color of and, in some cases, help preserve black-and-white prints and motion-picture film by altering or replacing the silver image.
a worker for a paint manufacturer who tests the color and quality of paint.
a cosmetic preparation, usually a liquid, used to restore firmness to the skin.
Origin of toner
1885-90; tone + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for toner
  • Use refillable toner cartridges for printers instead of single-use cartridges.
  • Old toner cartridges can be slipped into prepaid mailing envelopes and returned to the manufacturer for recycling.
  • When you must print, use soy-based ink toner cartridges and recycled-content paper.
  • Now of course, you can run one off much more cheaply-- even if toner is expensive.
  • As an extreme example, public agencies don't manufacture their own printer toner.
  • Its cheaper to get a new printer than keep the old one given low cost of printer and high cost of the useable drum and toner.
  • Ever since ink turned into toner and pixel, printed paper has been struggling to survive as a medium.
  • More expensive laser printers use another approach that creates images using electrically charged colored powder, called toner.
  • Sell a printer at cost, and you can make long money selling toner year after year after year.
  • Printers can emit what is known as particle pollution, or tiny grains of toner that can enter the lungs.
British Dictionary definitions for toner


a person or thing that tones or produces tones, esp a concentrated pure organic pigment
a cosmetic preparation that is applied to produce a required effect, such as one that softens or alters hair colour or one that reduces the oiliness of the skin
(photog) a chemical solution that softens or alters the colour of the tones of a photographic image
a powdered chemical used in photocopying machines and laser printers, which is transferred onto paper to form the printed image
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for toner

1888, agent noun from tone (v.). As a photography chemical, from 1920; in xerography, from 1954.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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