mono·​tone | \ˈmä-nə-ˌtōn \

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

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 Sarah Barthel’s powerful bass grooves and Josh Carter’s deep, monotone singing voice were both reminiscent of electronica pioneers New Order. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Best and worst of Summerfest Day 10: Kip Moore, Jonathan Davis of Korn, Phantogram & more," 7 July 2018 Chad Recurring characters have become a rarity in the past couple seasons, but Davidson has brought back his monotone bro character for several episodes. Karen Mizoguchi,, "Watch Ariana Grande's Fiancé Pete Davidson's Funniest Saturday Night Live Sketches," 11 June 2018 Sophie Allison said in an expressionless monotone that matched the fact that her swirly, just-this-side-of-morose songs were ultimately a hair one-note. Marc Hirsh,, "Liz Phair slips back into ‘Guyville’ at the Sinclair," 7 June 2018 Gone is the beige monotone and period furniture that long dominated the entrance of the National Historic Landmark, built in 1926. Chabeli Herrera, miamiherald, "The Biltmore Hotel is transforming for the 21st century. You won't recognize the rooms.," 27 June 2018 The Blazer is the base, the RS trim is sporty with more monotone accents and the Premiere is sophisticated with chrome accents. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "Chevy targets midsize SUV hunger with a new Blazer," 21 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

18 Nov 2018

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).


to enclose within walls

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