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Multiple Meanings
tone — as in:  the tone of the essay

Which of the following words best maintains the tone established in this passage.
the general feeling, mood, or attitude of something — especially of something said or written

See a comprehensive dictionary for the many other common and less common meanings of tone including:
  • a quality of sound, music, or voice
  • a quality of color
  • a quality of muscles seen after exercise, or the act of exercising to create that quality
  • signals from a telephone

The expression "tone down", means to make something less forceful.
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