Definitions

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

  • n. A succession of sounds or words uttered in a single tone of voice.
  • n. Music A single tone repeated with different words or time values, especially in a rendering of a liturgical text.
  • n. Music A chant in a single tone.
  • n. Sameness or dull repetition in sound, style, manner, or color.
  • adj. Characterized by or uttered in a monotone: a monotone recitation of names.
  • adj. Of or having a single color: a cat with a monotone coat.
  • adj. Mathematics Designating sequences, the successive members of which either consistently increase or decrease but do not oscillate in relative value. Each member of a monotone increasing sequence is greater than or equal to the preceding member; each member of a monotone decreasing sequence is less than or equal to the preceding member.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. having a single unvaried pitch
  • adj. property of a function to be either always decreasing or always increasing
  • n. A single unvaried tone of speech or a sound
  • v. To speak in a monotone.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A single unvaried tone or sound.
  • n. The utterance of successive syllables, words, or sentences, on one unvaried key or line of pitch.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In rhetoric, a sameness of tone; the utterance of successive syllables at one unvaried pitch, with little or no inflection or cadence.
  • n. Monotony or sameness of style in writing or speaking.
  • n. In music:
  • n. A single tone, without harmony or variation in pitch.
  • n. Recitation of words in such a tone, especially in a church service, sometimes with harmonic accompaniment and with occasional inflections or melodic variations; intoning; chanting.
  • n. Something spoken or written in one tone or strain.
  • To recite in a single, unvaried tone; intone; chant.
  • n. A single or uniform tint or color.

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

  • adj. of a sequence or function; consistently increasing and never decreasing or consistently decreasing and never increasing in value
  • adj. sounded or spoken in a tone unvarying in pitch
  • n. an unchanging intonation
  • n. a single tone repeated with different words or different rhythms (especially in rendering liturgical texts)

Etymologies

From Greek monotonos, monotonous; see monotonous.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the post-Classical Latin monotonus ("unvarying in tone") or its etymon the Ancient Greek μονότονος (monotonos, "steady”, “unwavering"); compare cognate adjectives, namely the French monotone, the German monoton, the Italian monotono, and the Spanish monótono, as well as the slightly earlier English noun monotony and adjective monotonical. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • It features Kareem Abdul Jabbar jabbering in monotone about the dangers of strangers, among things.

    Perfect strangers

  • Barbara Wersba's review topped the Times's page, headlined "One of the most moving books ever written for children ..." and below followed June Jordan's: ".... or just another horror story told in monotone?"

    He says . . she says

  • Synopsis: An chiaroscurist - an artist who specializes in monotone pictures which highlight might and shadow - sculpts the face of god in a monastery.

    4/06 UPDATE: My New Year's Resolution

  • Most of the travel has been in monotone "Seed", but the tempo has been the profit-motive, except those years such as 1944/45/46 when I tried to do my part in the role of UNRRA's European Seed Co-Ordinator.

    The World As I Seed It

  • Next, Henderson changes her mind about what sort of book cover she’s looking for: she doesn’t want a single title, but a * series* of books with images in monotone like Hamilton’s.

    The Cover Debate — Covered [updated - more covers] « Urban Fantasy Land

  • Everyone’s favorite caustic, raspy monotone is back for more science fiction-fantasy-mystery hybrid goodness.

    Current Movie Reviews, Independent Movies - Film Threat

  • She gazed absently at the wall and sang in monotone.

    Fahad Faruqui: A Mother Holding on to Allah in Trying Times

  • Words bawled out in a monotone are apt to become confused, as is often illustrated by the train announcers in our railway stations.

    Public Speaking

  • It's hard to say the vuvuzela is melodious; its sound can be best described as a monotone swarm of bees (judge for yourself with this news report).

    FP Passport

  • Wai Lana has a soothing voice that my husband calls monotone, but I find is slightly melodious and very easy to ignore when I'm doing something else, but easy to hear and calming to listen to when I do.

    xml's Blinklist.com

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