in·​tone in-ˈtōn How to pronounce intone (audio)
intoned; intoning

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
intoner noun

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 My hope was that merely intoning these titles would send Mr. V. to sleep. Joseph O’Neill, The New Yorker, 11 Mar. 2024 The very same hour about which old Winston Churchill had once intoned in World War II. TIME, 2 Mar. 2024 For congregants, the holy text is not the Bible, but rather A Love Supreme, Coltrane’s 1965 album, considered by some to be his masterwork, which includes audio of Coltrane intoning a prayer. Jeff MacGregor, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Jan. 2024 In this way more than a year passed since the wedding, and still nothing doing, as the neighborhood chorus intoned. Tova Reich, Harper's Magazine, 11 Dec. 2023 But New Delhi no longer intones the rote ideology of that earlier era to address these inequalities and historical injustices. Happymon Jacob, Foreign Affairs, 25 Dec. 2023 But the whole thing, from the fashionistas gushing over Paltrow’s smart outfits (check that cream turtleneck) to the BBC (yes, the BBC) intoning updates on the proceedings, seems ripe for some kind of satire on 21st-century life (Taylor Swift was even dragged into this mess). Chris Vognar, Rolling Stone, 18 Dec. 2023 Each line is intoned by one of the brothers as though an extension of their prayers. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 26 Sep. 2023 Mering travels and croons throughout the six-minute clip, intoning the song’s lilting melodies as a lamp-like cardiac organ shines out from her chest. Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 9 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'intone.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1513, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of intone was in 1513

Dictionary Entries Near intone

Cite this Entry

“Intone.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​tone in-ˈtōn How to pronounce intone (audio)
intoned; intoning
: to utter in musical or prolonged tones : chant
intoner noun

More from Merriam-Webster on intone

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