1 [tuhn]
a unit of weight, equivalent to 2000 pounds (0.907 metric ton) avoirdupois (short ton) in the U.S. and 2240 pounds (1.016 metric tons) avoirdupois (long ton) in Great Britain.
Also called freight ton. a unit of volume for freight that weighs one ton, varying with the type of freight measured, as 40 cubic feet of oak timber or 20 bushels of wheat.
a unit of volume used in transportation by sea, commonly equal to 40 cubic feet (1.13 cu. m) (shipping ton or measurement ton)
a unit of internal capacity of ships, equal to 100 cubic feet (2.83 cu. m) (register ton)
Often, tons. Informal. a great quantity; a lot: a ton of jokes; tons of wedding presents.
British Informal. a speed of 100 miles per hour.

1350–1400; Middle English; variant of tun Unabridged


2 [French tawn]
noun, plural tons [French tawn] .
high fashion; stylishness.
the current fashion, style, or vogue.

1755–65; < French < Latin tonus tone

tonish, tonnish [ton-ish] , adjective
tonishly, tonnishly, adverb
tonishness, tonnishness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
ton1 (tʌn)
1.  (Brit) Also called: long ton a unit of weight equal to 2240 pounds or 1016.046909 kilograms
2.  (US) short ton, Also called: net ton a unit of weight equal to 2000 pounds or 907.184 kilograms
3.  metric ton, Also called: tonne a unit of weight equal to 1000 kilograms
4.  Also called: freight ton a unit of volume or weight used for charging or measuring freight in shipping. It depends on the type of material being shipped but is often taken as 40 cubic feet, 1 cubic metre, or 1000 kilograms: freight is charged at £40 per ton of 1 cubic metre
5.  measurement ton, Also called: shipping ton a unit of volume used in shipping freight, equal to 40 cubic feet, irrespective of the commodity shipped
6.  Also called: displacement ton a unit used for measuring the displacement of a ship, equal to 35 cubic feet of sea water or 2240 pounds
7.  Also called: register ton a unit of internal capacity of ships equal to 100 cubic feet
[C14: variant of tun]

ton2 (tɔ̃)
style, fashion, or distinction
[C18: from French, from Latin tonustone]

ton3 (tʌn)
slang chiefly (Brit) a score or achievement of a hundred, esp a hundred miles per hour, as on a motorcycle
[C20: special use of ton1 applied to quantities of one hundred]

tons (tʌnz)
pl n
1.  a large amount or number:: tons of money; I have tons of shoes
2.  (intensifier): I looked and felt tons better

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., tonne, unit for measuring the carrying capacity of a ship, originally "space occupied by a tun or cask of wine," thus identical to tun (q.v.). The two words were not differentiated until 1680s. The measure of weight is first recorded late 15c.; the spelling ton is
from 1530s, and became firmly established 18c. Tonnage (early 15c.) originally was "tax or duty on wine imported in tuns." Modern tonne (1877) is the Fr. form of the word, adopted for Eng. use to denote a metric ton (1,000 kg.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
ton   (tŭn)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A unit of weight in the US Customary System equal to 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms). Also called short ton. See Table at measurement.

  2. A unit of weight in the US Customary System equal to 2,240 pounds (1,008 kilograms). Also called long ton. See Table at measurement.

  3. See metric ton.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
threshold odor number
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Eleven thousand three hundred tons of superstructure steel are waiting.
Countless tons of supplies had been flown in or were on their way.
We've been fighting for three years now, and-get this-we've racked up so many
  points that we've got tons of bonus lives.
But there can be tons of ugly emotions flying about without having any couples
  in the department.
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