mo·​not·​o·​nous | \ mə-ˈnä-tə-nəs How to pronounce monotonous (audio) , -ˈnät-nəs \

Definition of monotonous

1 : uttered or sounded in one unvarying tone : marked by a sameness of pitch and intensity
2 : tediously uniform or unvarying

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Other Words from monotonous

monotonously adverb
monotonousness noun

Examples of monotonous in a Sentence

Altogether, millions of mostly obscure entries in the public record offer details of a forced labor system of monotonous enormity. — Douglas A. Blackmon, Slavery By Another Name, 2008 At times, the grayness of the place was consumed by its own monotonous noise, of bars clanging, of inmates being led through the corridors, of guards yelling out orders … — Benjamin Weiser, New York Times Magazine, 6 Aug. 2000 The monotonous chant of the indoctrinated, ideologically armored from head to foot … — Philip Roth, American Pastoral, 1997 The crickets stridulated their everlasting monotonous meaningful note. — John Updike, The Witches of Eastwick, 1984 the lecturer's monotonous delivery threatened to put us to sleep
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Recent Examples on the Web Last, learning is aided by motivation, and unlike the typical range of weird, monotonous experimental tasks used in motor-skills research—moving cursors with joysticks, tapping out sequences on buttons—juggling is actually fun. Tom Vanderbilt, Wired, "Here’s What Learning to Juggle Does to Your Brain," 4 Feb. 2021 Commonly sung on ships in the early 19th century, sea shanties thrive off their communal nature, as sailors undertook monotonous tasks and sang in unison, according to music historians. NBC News, "TikTok star behind 'Wellerman' sea shanty craze quits job as mailman," 23 Jan. 2021 The textured layering, a pop of colour in the form of the designer hat, and jewellery add a touch of glam to the monochrome look, which can sometimes feel monotonous. Sarah Midkiff,, "Jennifer Lopez’s Matching Tracksuit Looks Are A Lesson In Elevated Loungewear," 31 Dec. 2020 Every scene peaks, with little to break it up, and thus the extraordinary becomes monotonous. al, "Ron Howard’s ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ takes a beating in early reviews," 10 Nov. 2020 Working freight—be it in the dusty heat or the arctic reefer—became soul-suckingly monotonous after two days. Jeff Winkler, The Atlantic, "The Art of Cooking While Everything Burns," 30 Dec. 2020 The same monotonous routines, Dykes said, can lead to mental fatigue. Sam Blum, Dallas News, "In SMU-East Carolina game, there are two teams at very different points in respective seasons," 27 Nov. 2020 Their days were monotonous, filled with online classes, individual workouts at the Chiles Center and socially distanced treks to The Commons or The Cove for food. oregonlive, "How the Portland Pilots men’s and women’s basketball teams have navigated confusion, frustration ... and hope in 2020," 22 Dec. 2020 For Avery Bradley, running sprints on the Miami Heat’s practice court at AmericanAirlines Arena aren’t as much monotonous as nostalgic. Ira Winderman,, "A decade later, Avery Bradley’s slam-dunk Heat pre-draft workout comes full circle," 9 Dec. 2020

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

1776, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for monotonous

Greek monotonos, from mon- + tonos tone

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Time Traveler for monotonous

Time Traveler

The first known use of monotonous was in 1776

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Statistics for monotonous

Last Updated

20 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Monotonous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for monotonous



English Language Learners Definition of monotonous

used to describe something that is boring because it is always the same


mo·​not·​o·​nous | \ mə-ˈnä-tə-nəs How to pronounce monotonous (audio) \

Kids Definition of monotonous

: boring from always being the same Our trip across the ocean was monotonous.

Other Words from monotonous

monotonously adverb

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