Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To recite in a singing tone.
  • transitive v. To utter in a monotone.
  • intransitive v. To speak with a singing tone or with a particular intonation.
  • intransitive v. Music To sing a plainsong intonation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To give tone or variety of tone to; to vocalize.
  • v. To utter with a musical or prolonged note or tone; to speak or recite with singing voice; to chant; as, to intone the church service.
  • v. To utter a tone; utter a protracted sound.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To utter a prolonged tone or a deep, protracted sound; to speak or recite in a measured, sonorous manner; to intonate.
  • transitive v. To utter with a musical or prolonged note or tone; to chant.
  • transitive v. To speak with a distinctive or unusual tone in the voice, or in a monotone.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To give tone or variety of tone to; vocalize.
  • To bring into tone or tune; figuratively, to imbue with a particular tone of feeling.
  • To speak or recite with the singing voice: as, to intone the litany.
  • To utter a tone; utter a protracted sound.
  • Specifically To use a monotone in pronouncing or repeating; speak or recite with the singing voice; chant.
  • In music:
  • To produce a tone, or a particular series of tones, like a scale, especially with the voice; sing or chant.
  • In plainsong, to sing the intonation of a chant or melody.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. recite with musical intonation; recite as a chant or a psalm
  • v. speak carefully, as with rising and falling pitch or in a particular tone
  • v. utter monotonously and repetitively and rhythmically

Etymologies

Middle English entonen, from Old French entoner, from Medieval Latin intonāre : Latin in-, in; see in-2 + Latin tonus, tone; see tone.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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  • ...in Assembly, as the Assistant Head
    was intoning the Lord's Prayer...

    - Peter Reading, Alma Mater, from Tom O' Bedlam's Beauties, 1981

    June 28, 2008