mo·not·o·ny | \mə-ˈnä-tə-nē, -ˈnät-nē\

Definition of monotony 

1 : tedious sameness the monotony of the landscape the monotony of prison life fixing a variety of foods to avoid monotonySHAPE

2 : sameness of tone or sound the soft monotony of her voice

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of monotony in a Sentence

She hated the monotony of the job. The brief storm was a relief from the monotony of the hot summer afternoon.

Recent Examples on the Web

Photo: Alamy My visit began with a cab ride through a stretch of north-central Lisbon, where a lack of zoning laws and wide variety of building styles has created a vague, visual monotony. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "A Portuguese Palace That’s a Tile Lover’s Dream Destination," 5 July 2018 The cast members here capture that monotony, to which their characters cling like a security blanket. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: In an Energized ‘Iceman,’ the Drinks are on Denzel," 26 Apr. 2018 My brain was at recess, and anything that helped me escape the monotony was fair game. Amanda Shapiro, Bon Appetit, "How Learning to Love Insomnia Finally Put Me to Sleep," 29 May 2018 Many feel these pro days add a little spice to the monotony of the offseason and give teams more valuable information. Doug Lesmerises,, "Ohio State Pro Day: Who were the winners?," 22 Oct. 2017 There’s no apparent joy in these painful exertions, and the occasional signs of a wider life — practicing kinesiology, getting lost inside a virtual-reality headset — fail to banish the movie’s disconsolate monotony. Denis Côté, New York Times, "Review: Six Strongmen Cultivate ‘A Skin So Soft’," 5 July 2018 Five first-year TV shows earned Emmy nominations last year for best drama series, offering a rare, almost revolutionary jolt of change to a set of awards that, over the years, have celebrated monotony and excellence in equal measure. Glenn Whipp,, "Emmys 2018: Five races we'll be watching when nominations are announced," 9 July 2018 So, the riders make this 19-hour journey, past farmland dotted with grazing cows, the Susquehanna River rapids coursing around an eccentric replica Statue of Liberty, the monotony of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Samantha Melamed,, "Can the rural prison economy survive the era of decarceration?," 7 June 2018 Every so often, a happy announcement would puncture the monotony: A train was up and running — and people responded by threading through the crowd toward their track at a brisk pace. Matt Stevens,, "Storms cut deadly swath across New York, Connecticut," 17 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'monotony.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of monotony

1636, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for monotony

see monotonous

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about monotony

Statistics for monotony

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for monotony

The first known use of monotony was in 1636

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for monotony



English Language Learners Definition of monotony

: a lack of change that makes something boring : a monotonous quality


mo·not·o·ny | \mə-ˈnä-tə-nē \
plural monotonies

Kids Definition of monotony

: a boring lack of change

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on monotony

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for monotony

Spanish Central: Translation of monotony

Nglish: Translation of monotony for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of monotony for Arabic Speakers

Comments on monotony

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


required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!