in·​tone | \ in-ˈtōn How to pronounce intone (audio) \
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

Impeachment, as every pundit intones, is really a political matter rather than a legal one. Michael Kazin, The New Republic, "The Impossibility of Impeachment," 10 June 2019 As the narrator intones about the evil intentions of Russia’s foreign enemies, fragments of Repin’s painting flash across the screen. Noah Sneider, Harper's magazine, "Slash Fictions," 10 May 2019 Jack intoned, less convincingly this go-round behind a muffling hand. Mike Kerrigan, WSJ, "My Brother the Car Horn," 27 Nov. 2018 Chaplain Barry Black intoned as the Senate convened. Andrew Taylor, The Seattle Times, "Senate sets up showdown votes on shutdown plans," 22 Jan. 2019 Many lush and surprisingly bloody battles take place between scenes in which men stand around in fields, tents, and palaces intoning meaningfully about duty, loyalty, the land, and freedom. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Netflix’s Outlaw King, starring Chris Pine as a Scottish warrior-king, is bloody medieval fun," 9 Nov. 2018 President Gerald Ford intones over the opening montage of a busted-up and burning city. Stephen Metcalf, The Atlantic, "Jean-Michel Basquiat Is Still an Enigma," 24 June 2018 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

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

14 Jul 2019

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on intone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with intone

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for intone

Spanish Central: Translation of intone

Nglish: Translation of intone for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of intone for Arabic Speakers

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).


to complain fretfully

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