mono·​syl·​lab·​ic | \ ˌmä-nə-sə-ˈla-bik How to pronounce monosyllabic (audio) \

Definition of monosyllabic

1 : consisting of one syllable or of monosyllables
2 : using or speaking only monosyllables
3 : conspicuously brief in answering or commenting : terse

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Other Words from monosyllabic

monosyllabically \ ˌmä-​nə-​sə-​ˈla-​bi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce monosyllabic (audio) \ adverb
monosyllabicity \ ˌmä-​nə-​ˌsi-​lə-​ˈbi-​sə-​tē How to pronounce monosyllabic (audio) \ noun

Examples of monosyllabic in a Sentence

The movie star was monosyllabic with newspaper reporters. the sullen teenager would give only a monosyllabic response to even the friendliest question
Recent Examples on the Web During the interview, Laurent was a typical 9-year-old, giving short or monosyllabic answers. Elian Peltier, New York Times, "A 9-Year-Old Is About to Get a University Degree. He Has #Giganticplans.," 15 Nov. 2019 Voi Scooter companies often seem indistinguishable, with their monosyllabic names (Scoot, Skip, Spin) and identikit hardware. Alison Griswold, Quartz, "Where do scooters go for the winter?," 16 Dec. 2019 And there was Shane, an irresistible, monosyllabic lothario, who inspired both ire and emulation. Crispin Long, The New Yorker, "“The L Word” Reboot Seeks to Absolve the Original’s Sins," 11 Dec. 2019 There, Smith shed more tears as reporters asked questions between sniffles and snippets of monosyllabic answers in which the former Mount Saint Joseph star blamed himself. Don Markus,, "Going into his sophomore year, Maryland’s Jalen Smith working on his game, his body and his mind," 2 Nov. 2019 Mueller’s halting, monosyllabic style could hardly be described as telegenic and, in this case, the book was better than the movie. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "Everything You Need to Know About the Mueller Hearing," 24 July 2019 Instead of the Greenlandic way – long silences and monosyllabic answers – there comes an outpouring. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "Greenland’s Deepening Ecological Grief," 19 Aug. 2019 Such a combustible mix of tempers, egos, bald heads and monosyllabic surnames surely warranted a stand-alone entertainment of its own. Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ doesn’t quite hit that ‘Fast & Furious’ sweet spot," 1 Aug. 2019 Between Seo’s narrative drawing of repression and Ho’s monosyllabic performance, silence — and the shattering of that silence — becomes a de facto theme. Lila Seidman, Glendale News-Press, "Down the street from vandalized comfort-women statue is an exhibit honoring the women," 1 Aug. 2019

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

1635, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for monosyllabic

probably from French monosyllabique, from monosyllabe

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Time Traveler for monosyllabic

Time Traveler

The first known use of monosyllabic was in 1635

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Cite this Entry

“Monosyllabic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for monosyllabic



English Language Learners Definition of monosyllabic

: having only one syllable : made up of words that have only one syllable
: saying very little or responding with one-syllable words

More from Merriam-Webster on monosyllabic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for monosyllabic

Nglish: Translation of monosyllabic for Spanish Speakers

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