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


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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 At the first station, prayers were intoned for those in the vehicles. Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje,, "Houses of worship in San Antonio find ways to celebrate Easter in the age of coronavirus," 11 Apr. 2020 Wandering the auditorium and stage in a gold bodysuit, the sad, funny figure of Hinrichs, who is billed as co-director, intones his laconic and disjointed soliloquy with consummate theatricality (and often without a microphone). New York Times, "Renewing the World (or the Theater, at Least)," 13 Feb. 2020 Accompanied by piano, drums, bowed bass and fiddle that linger over slow chords, Dylan intones each line with somber clarity. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "Bob Dylan’s 17-Minute Surprise, and 8 More New Songs," 27 Mar. 2020 Would-be futurists intoned that the age of skyscrapers was past, that no new iconic high-rises would shadow American cities. John King,, "Urban parks will survive despite the coronavirus — they’ll change, as well," 26 Mar. 2020 Men sat cross-legged or crouched on their knees in a semicircle around a small dais from which the chief mourner rhythmically intoned laments into the microphone. The Economist, "Trapped in Iran," 28 Jan. 2020 Bryant intones in voiceover at the start of the film. Tyler Aquilina,, "Watch Kobe Bryant's Oscar-winning short film Dear Basketball," 28 Jan. 2020 Every January, economic forecasters are stars of the show, intoning their predictions in hotel ballrooms and conference rooms packed with business people, public officials and a few reporters. Greg Jefferson,, "Jefferson: Growth, growing pains in San Antonio forecast," 17 Jan. 2020 Locally, the phrase is intoned with a mix of civic rue and dark humor. Richard Campanella, The Atlantic, "How Humans Sank New Orleans," 6 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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Time Traveler for intone

Time Traveler

The first known use of intone was in 1513

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Cite this Entry

“Intone.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for intone


How to pronounce intone (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for intone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with intone

Spanish Central: Translation of intone

Nglish: Translation of intone for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of intone for Arabic Speakers

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