mono·​syl·​la·​ble | \ ˈmä-nə-ˌsi-lə-bəl How to pronounce monosyllable (audio) , ˌmä-nə-ˈsi- \

Definition of monosyllable

: a word of one syllable

Examples of monosyllable in a Sentence

He answered all their questions with monosyllables like “yes” and “no.”
Recent Examples on the Web But where the two Stegosaurus brothers speak in Jurassic monosyllables, Stegothesaurus has the gift of a bountiful vocabulary. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: You Know She Should Be Glad," 22 June 2018 The result is an idiom of great spareness and simplicity: The words are short, mostly monosyllables. Gregory Hays, New York Times, "A Version of Homer That Dares to Match Him Line for Line," 5 Dec. 2017 Original writer Derek Kolstad and director Chad Stahelski have returned for the sequel, alongside the taciturn Reeves, who brews up more of his Wickian magic while speaking infrequently and mostly in monosyllables. Katie Walsh, The Mercury News, "In ‘John Wick’ Keanu Reeves returns for more stylized violence," 9 Feb. 2017 Still on the ground, Huete answers with monosyllables before using a cell phone to call his sister, who arrived at the scene soon after … James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Gianforte’s victory after assaulting reporter reflects rising tribalism in American politics," 26 May 2017 The title of Frantz is something else again, neither a piece of hand-holding nor an act of mild subversion, but a monosyllable with a gift for multitasking—and an index of the impacted richness that the film displays for roughly an hour. Leo Robson, Newsweek, "Review: Absence Haunts François Ozon's 'Frantz'—in More Ways Than One," 4 May 2017

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

1533, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for monosyllable

modification of Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French monosyllabe, from Late Latin monosyllabon, from Greek, from neuter of monosyllabos having one syllable, from mon- + syllabē syllable

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Time Traveler for monosyllable

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The first known use of monosyllable was in 1533

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Cite this Entry

“Monosyllable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for monosyllable



English Language Learners Definition of monosyllable

: a word that has only one syllable


mono·​syl·​la·​ble | \ ˈmä-nə-ˌsi-lə-bəl How to pronounce monosyllable (audio) \

Kids Definition of monosyllable

: a word of one syllable

More from Merriam-Webster on monosyllable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for monosyllable

Nglish: Translation of monosyllable for Spanish Speakers

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