mono·​tone | \ ˈmä-nə-ˌtōn How to pronounce monotone (audio) \

Definition of monotone

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a succession of syllables, words, or sentences in one unvaried key or pitch
2 : a single unvaried musical tone
3 : a tedious sameness or reiteration
4 : a person unable to produce or to distinguish between musical intervals



Definition of monotone (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : having a uniform color

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Synonyms for monotone

Synonyms: Noun

humdrum, monotonousness, monotony, sameness

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Examples of monotone in a Sentence


She read the story in a dull monotone. He sang in a soft, low monotone. She spoke in a monotone voice.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Here, her character is stirred from a dour existence by the company of the devil, her monotone gradually brightened by the prospect of change. Jordan Riefe, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Witch': Theater Review," 30 Aug. 2019 Instead, viewers watching TV news or listening to the radio or tuned into the livestream at their desks heard a nervous, almost monotone lawyer speaking in legalese. Emily Dreyfuss, WIRED, "Hollywood Tried to Save America with a Live Reading of the Mueller Report," 25 June 2019 Not even a new monotone blonde narrator by the name of Kristin Cavallari could save it. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Make the Women of The Hills Famous Again," 24 June 2019 With her uniform of monotone beanies and baseball caps, navy and black T-shirts and black ankle-grazing pants, Sablone's style is minimalist yet distinctive. Mackenzie Wagoner, Vogue, "Skateboarder Alexis Sablone Makes History With Her First Sneaker," 30 May 2019 Women in colorful scarves punctuated the grey monotone in the markets. Washington Post, "Syrians in Raqqa afraid, angry, frustrated as they rebuild," 8 Apr. 2018 Everyone remembers getting that 5:00 a.m. automated phone call, which relayed, in a monotone voice, that school was closed for the day thanks to a foot (or two) of snow. Sarah Schreiber, Good Housekeeping, "Schools Are Getting Rid of Snow Days Because Nothing Is Sacred Anymore," 6 Jan. 2017 Our guide had a calming vibe with his monotone voice and slow descriptions of the history of the home. David Duran, Country Living, "I Captured Something Disturbing on Camera at Savannah's Sorrel-Weed House," 11 Oct. 2016 The judge, in a deep monotone voice, repeated the script. Miriam Jordan, New York Times, "Swift Frontier Justice for Migrants Brought to Federal Courts," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Teammates smacked his helmet in celebration and fans showered him with cheers, yet the noise all blurred into a slow, monotone hum. Jesse Dougherty,, "Former Alabama player Les Williams is one of more than 100 suing NCAA over brain injuries," 3 July 2018 But the internet fell in love with Larry — the soft, steady, monotone narrator of the middle-of-the-night tsunami scare that sent hundreds of Alaskans evacuating for higher ground. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "How waiting for a tsunami that didn’t come turned a small-town Alaska man into an internet hero," 24 Jan. 2018 The clean, crisp and monotone interior practically looks brand new, in a tannish, light brown hue. Houston Chronicle, "Heidi's customs & classics: 1951 Chevy Styleline Deluxe is 'all business when it comes to performance'," 5 Jan. 2018

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


1644, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1760, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for monotone


Greek monotonos monotonous

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Statistics for monotone

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for monotone

The first known use of monotone was in 1644

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More Definitions for monotone



English Language Learners Definition of monotone

: a way of talking or singing without raising or lowering the sound of your voice

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More from Merriam-Webster on monotone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with monotone

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for monotone

Spanish Central: Translation of monotone

Nglish: Translation of monotone for Spanish Speakers

Comments on monotone

What made you want to look up monotone? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


recurring in steady succession

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