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

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Examples of monotone in a Sentence

Noun 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 There’s also not much modulation, just high-frequency monotone. Los Angeles Times, 23 Aug. 2021 Turns out to be just a test, but the siren and monotone prerecorded voice warning are bracing and persistent. Matt Wake |, al, 21 Aug. 2021 Merkel has reached her rhetorical high point—signalled by a slowing of her monotone and a subtle hand gesture, fingers extended. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 11 Aug. 2021 Martinosky, characteristically deadpan and monotone, bellows this last part., 25 July 2021 Another daughter, a twenty-one-year-old named Gabriela, spoke in an almost inaudible monotone, saying no to every question that Santos asked. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, 7 June 2021 The first is a black monotone look with either gray or red contrast stitching, and the second is a black and Sevilla Red two-tone scheme. Drew Dorian, Car and Driver, 6 July 2021 Characters read texts aloud in monotone while the camera frames them in doorways and peers at them through glass. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 30 June 2021 When your outfit is mostly black-and-white, littles pops of color can keep things from looking too drab or monotone. Elizabeth Loga, Glamour, 22 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Standing can often give you more energy, and an enthusiastic voice will sound better on the phone versus answering questions in a monotone style. Chron, 3 Sep. 2021 While the exterior is very monotone, there's a splash of color inside, where the theme of simplification continues. Caleb Miller, Car and Driver, 13 Aug. 2021 Talking too long, or in a monotone voice will surely cause the interviewer’s mind to wander. Robin Ryan, Forbes, 18 May 2021 Contrasting colors are often a better choice than a monotone design. Monika Eyers, Better Homes & Gardens, 15 Apr. 2021 The ready-to-wear palate was rigorously monotone, in strong shades including tangerine, lavender, teal and black. Colleen Barry, Star Tribune, 24 Feb. 2021 One message, only a few seconds long, delivers the message in a monotone, robotic voice. Jack Gillum, ProPublica, 3 Nov. 2020 Originally on National Geographic, this offers stunning visuals and lush writing but does get a bit monotone. Mike Hughes, The Enquirer, 24 Sep. 2020 In the previous iteration of Your News Update, transitions between stories were handled by Google Assistant, which would announce the outlet behind each story and its date of publication in a monotone robotic voice. Boone Ashworth, Wired, 2 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for monotone

Time Traveler

The first known use of monotone was in 1644

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Dictionary Entries Near monotone




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Statistics for monotone

Last Updated

9 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Monotone.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on monotone

Nglish: Translation of monotone for Spanish Speakers


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