mono·​syl·​lab·​ic ˌmä-nə-sə-ˈla-bik How to pronounce monosyllabic (audio)
: consisting of one syllable or of monosyllables
: using or speaking only monosyllables
: conspicuously brief in answering or commenting : terse
monosyllabically adverb
monosyllabicity 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 Year by year, their relationship grew worse, eventually deteriorating to the point that Eric would shut down at the first sign of conflict, muttering a few monosyllabic responses before escaping to the local tavern. Cody Cottier, Discover Magazine, 25 Oct. 2023 Consequently, one of the unwritten rules of the boxing gym — the kind of joint where floorboards come stained in sweat and where communication can be monosyllabic — is that everyone is welcome. Ben Wyatt, Rolling Stone, 23 Sep. 2023 Those exchanges are often monosyllabic and charged with unspoken feeling. Judith Thurman, The New Yorker, 11 Sep. 2023 The most common one, Sa-heel, is at least an honest attempt—unlike its mutant twin, a monosyllabic mess that comes out sounding like seal. Saahil Desai, The Atlantic, 17 July 2023 Josh Brolin plays Royal Abbott, an ornery, monosyllabic cattleman prone to long, monosyllabic dinners with his limitedly functional family. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Apr. 2022 And there remains a whiff of vanity project to the whole franchise, at least since Diesel refashioned it around his character, a monosyllabic, modern-day Robin Hood and benevolent father figure, always willing to selflessly die for his fabled Family. A.a. Dowd, Chron, 17 May 2023 The series accomplished that, notably, with heroes that were particularly obscure and outlandish, including a talking raccoon and a monosyllabic tree. Brian Lowry, CNN, 5 May 2023 Paul wasn't always a monosyllabic loafer on the lookout for easy money, and Mazino reveals the poignant loneliness dwelling inside Danny's sweet, stymied little brother. Kristen Baldwin,, 3 Apr. 2023 See More

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

Word History


probably from French monosyllabique, from monosyllabe

First Known Use

1635, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of monosyllabic was in 1635

Dictionary Entries Near monosyllabic

Cite this Entry

“Monosyllabic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

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