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 Just like in Minari, Yuh-Jung Youn’s onscreen arrival immediately sent a jolt of wicked charisma and unpredictability into a monotonous landscape. Andrew R. Chow, Time, "The Best, Worst and Strangest Moments of the 2021 Oscars," 26 Apr. 2021 As exciting as the prospect of a new job can be, the application process is, well, a bit monotonous. Lex Goodman, Forbes, "Get Resume Help For $29, Thanks To This Rezi Software Deal," 27 Apr. 2021 An orange sun is setting behind row upon row of monotonous pines. Seth Harp, Rolling Stone, "THE FORT," 18 Apr. 2021 It is meant to be a tour de force but is monotonous. Armond White, National Review, "Pieces of a Woman Falls Apart," 14 Apr. 2021 Gehry sees the project as a counterpoint to the monotonous developments popping up across the city. Lesley M.m. Blume, Town & Country, "Inside Frank Gehry's Overhaul of Garden of Allah, L.A.’s Most Infamous Corner," 31 Mar. 2021 Not just about Benny having survivor’s remorse, but also about how monotonous the game is to him now. Jayson Buford, Rolling Stone, "How Benny the Butcher Channeled Survivor’s Guilt on ‘The Plugs I Met 2’," 25 Mar. 2021 Working out can feel futile at first and monotonous once it has been done for a while. Megan Oster,, "How does physical activity benefit your health?," 19 Mar. 2021 My personal boycott aside, folks whose kids can’t get enough of the musically monotonous fish now have a reason to check out the Roku Channel. Josef Adalian, Vulture, "The Streaming Price Wars Have Begun," 11 Feb. 2021

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

15 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Monotonous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 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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