in·tone | \in-ˈtōn \
intoned; intoning

Definition of intone 

transitive verb

: to utter in musical or prolonged tones : recite in singing tones or in a monotone

intransitive verb

: to utter something in singing tones or in monotone

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Other Words from intone

intoner noun

Synonyms for intone


chant, intonate, sing

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Examples of intone in a Sentence

“Coming soon to a theater near you,” the announcer intoned. “The day is begun,” the narrator intoned

Recent Examples on the Web

Sanders intoned in a two-minute excerpt from Debs’ Canton speech. Erick Trickey, Smithsonian, "When America’s Most Prominent Socialist Was Jailed for Speaking Out Against World War I," 15 June 2018 Madonna intones at the start of the album over an impossibly lonely ambient soundscape. Joe Lynch, Billboard, "Madonna's 'Ray of Light' at 20: Her Collaborators Look Back on the Electronic Pop Milestone," 23 Feb. 2018 Michael Shannon, playing the brothers’ mysterious rodeo clown father, intones a voice-over about hustling, kicking up a ruckus and the cosmic spirituality of the universe. Katie Walsh,, "Review: Lou Taylor Pucci enlivens wild and wooly 'Poor Boy'," 12 July 2018 The words of her book are intoned, projected, slipped into our hands on streams of ribbon. Charles Mcnulty,, "SITI Company and Ann Hamilton set sail for Virginia Woolf's 'To the Lighthouse'," 30 Apr. 2018 Pool is a vocal force, equally intoning power and soul in an ultimately uplifting experience. Bryan Kress, Billboard, "Nic Pool Is Caught Under 'The Falls' in New Single: Exclusive," 14 June 2018 The result is something stronger than ordinary lumber of the same kind and size, the narrator intones. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "The Video That Will Make You Fall in Love With Plywood," 25 Feb. 2015 The opening music is slightly ominous, leading into the voice of John Dickerson, of CBS News, intoning about the bogus stories that flourished on the platform during the 2016 election. Nicholas Thompson, WIRED, "Exclusive: Facebook Opens Up About False News," 23 May 2018 The digital screens intone that simply speaking Tut’s name will ensure his immortality — a marketing truism faking ancient profundity in an automated performance heavy on the ham and cheese. Christopher Knight,, "How good is the King Tut exhibition? An art critic weighs in," 29 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intone.' 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 intone

1513, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for intone

Middle French entoner, from Medieval Latin intonare, from Latin in- + tonus tone

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Statistics for intone

Last Updated

8 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for intone

The first known use of intone was in 1513

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English Language Learners Definition of intone

: to speak (a prayer, poem, etc.) in a way that sounds like music or chanting

: to say (something) in a slow and even voice

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Comments on intone

What made you want to look up intone? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that holds something together

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