intonation

noun
in·​to·​na·​tion | \ ˌin-tə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce intonation (audio) , -(ˌ)tō- \

Definition of intonation

1 : manner of utterance specifically : the rise and fall in pitch of the voice in speech
2 : something that is intoned specifically : the opening tones of a Gregorian chant
3 : the act of intoning and especially of chanting
4 : the ability to play or sing notes in tune

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Other Words from intonation

intonational \ ˌin-​tə-​ˈnā-​shnəl How to pronounce intonation (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl , -​(ˌ)tō-​ \ adjective

Examples of intonation in a Sentence

identical sentences, differing only in intonation
Recent Examples on the Web Theatrical wonderment can be heard in Apple’s cadence and intonation through the track, which remains one of her signature moves. The Christian Science Monitor, "From H.E.R. to Taylor Swift, women deliver the best songs of 2020," 18 Dec. 2020 The masks, as well as social-distancing measures, forced even introverts to project vocally while also employing gestures, intonation, eye contact and facial expressions. cleveland, "Independence High School students learn and grow through Dale Carnegie program," 27 Nov. 2020 Noori was a standout in tonal subtlety and sure-fire intonation, and Phillpott supplied lithe underpinnings and interactions. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Dallas Bach Society ventures beyond baroque, to Beethoven," 16 Nov. 2020 Extreme precision of intonation and articulation highlights the fact that the Crawford Seeger is an essentially perfect score, every note charged with purpose. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Two Thriving String Quartets," 10 Nov. 2020 In addition to the intonation changes, Alexa will now take turns speaking like a conversation. Stan Horaczek, Popular Science, "Amazon’s Fall 2020 products announcements include a security camera drone that flies around your house," 24 Sep. 2020 The trainer spoke in Hungarian, sometimes uttering the words with an enthusiastic, praising intonation, and at other times, a neutral tone. Virginia Morell, National Geographic, "Dogs understand praise the same way we do. Here's why that matters.," 6 Aug. 2020 This rapid decline suggests that intonation is processed in the more ancient dog brain regions. Virginia Morell, National Geographic, "Dogs understand praise the same way we do. Here's why that matters.," 6 Aug. 2020 Their characters are younger, more capable female clones of their dads, and these actors nail the intonation and demeanor of young Winter and Reeves. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "New Bill & Ted: Two ‘80s dudes have no business working this well in 2020," 29 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intonation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of intonation

1620, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for intonation

Time Traveler

The first known use of intonation was in 1620

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Statistics for intonation

Last Updated

29 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Intonation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intonation. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for intonation

intonation

noun
How to pronounce intonation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of intonation

: the rise and fall in the sound of your voice when you speak

intonation

noun
in·​to·​na·​tion | \ ˌin-tə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce intonation (audio) \

Kids Definition of intonation

: the rise and fall in pitch of the voice in speech

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Comments on intonation

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