Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A succession of sounds or words uttered in a single tone of voice.
  • noun A single tone repeated with different words or time values, especially in a rendering of a liturgical text.
  • noun A chant in a single tone.
  • noun Sameness or dull repetition in sound, style, manner, or color.
  • adjective Characterized by or uttered in a monotone.
  • adjective Of or having a single color.
  • adjective 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 The Century Dictionary.

  • To recite in a single, unvaried tone; intone; chant.
  • noun A single or uniform tint or color.
  • noun In rhetoric, a sameness of tone; the utterance of successive syllables at one unvaried pitch, with little or no inflection or cadence.
  • noun Monotony or sameness of style in writing or speaking.
  • noun In music:
  • noun A single tone, without harmony or variation in pitch.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Something spoken or written in one tone or strain.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Mus.) A single unvaried tone or sound.
  • noun (Rhet.) The utterance of successive syllables, words, or sentences, on one unvaried key or line of pitch.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective of speech or a sound having a single unvaried pitch
  • adjective mathematics property of a function to be either always decreasing or always increasing
  • noun A single unvaried tone of speech or a sound
  • verb transitive, intransitive To speak in a monotone.

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

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

Etymologies

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

[From Greek monotonos, monotonous; see monotonous.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

Examples

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