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

  • noun Uniformity or lack of variation in pitch, intonation, or inflection.
  • noun Tedious sameness or repetitiousness.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Uniformity of tone or sound; want of inflections of voice in speaking or reading; want of cadence or modulation; monotone.
  • noun Tiresome uniformity or lack of variation in any respect; sameness; want of variety.
  • noun In mathematics:
  • noun Continual increase, or continual decrease.
  • noun Unchanging character, neither increasing nor decreasing.

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

  • noun A frequent recurrence of the same tone or sound, producing a dull uniformity; absence of variety, as in speaking or singing.
  • noun Any irksome sameness, or want of variety.

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

  • noun Tedium as a result of repetition or a lack of variety.
  • noun mathematics The property of a monotonic function.
  • noun The quality of having an unvarying tone or pitch.

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

  • noun the quality of wearisome constancy, routine, and lack of variety
  • noun constancy of tone or pitch or inflection


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

[Greek monotoniā, from monotonos, monotonous; see monotonous.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the post-Classical Latin monotonia and its etymon the Ancient Greek μονοτονία (monotonia, "sameness of tone”, “monotony"); compare the French monotonie and the Italian monotonia, as well as the later English monotone.


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  • [Sidenote: Monotony] (4) Remember that monotony is the curse of labor for both child and adult, but that _monotony cannot exist where new intellectual insights are constantly being given_.

    Study of Child Life Marion Foster Washburne

  • All she has to break the monotony is the scarce book collection at the horribly deficient community library.

    Key « A Fly in Amber 2009

  • I've been stuck at my mom's place for just over a month now and the monotony is actually wearing me out and zapping my energy worse than the months before when I was stresses as fuck and didn't see myself graduating at all.

    "The mental and diva's hands..." greygirlbeast 2010

  • However, any possible monotony is eradicated by this montage's use of the Tito Puente soundtrack.

    A Tribute to Ray Harryhausen 2009

  • When the chord of monotony is stretched most tight, then it breaks with a sound like song (16): in short, it is Romance, not Satire, that springs from Dullness.

    Stone Pastorals: Three Men on the Side of the Horses 1996

  • The repetition of the same themes could create a certain monotony, but his acute analyses and sure touch awaken the same admiration with each new encounter.

    Nobel Prize in Literature 1952 - Presentation Speech 1952

  • Then the monotony is broken and sometimes with violence.

    The Ranch at the Wolverine 1914

  • For all this, &c. -- This burden of the prophet's strains, with dirge-like monotony, is repeated at Isa 9: 12, 17, 21; 10: 4.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible 1871

  • Occasionally its monotony is broken by the passage of a train of emigrant waggons bound west to California or

    Some of our readers 1861

  • I see what people mean by "monotony" - it's kind of as though her accent can drown out the nuances in her voice if one isn't familiar with her voice, but for my money she communicates repressed emotion better than pretty much any other popstar out there.

    unknown title 2009


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