AskDefine | Define monotone

Dictionary Definition

monotone adj
1 of a sequence or function; consistently increasing and never decreasing or consistently decreasing and never increasing in value [syn: monotonic] [ant: nonmonotonic]
2 sounded or spoken in a tone unvarying in pitch; "the owl's faint monotonous hooting" [syn: monotonic, monotonous]


1 an unchanging intonation [syn: drone, droning]
2 a single tone repeated with different words or different rhythms (especially in rendering liturgical texts)

User Contributed Dictionary



From monotony.


  • i RP /ˈmɒnətəʊn/
  • i US /ˈmɑːnətoʊn/


  1. In the context of "of speech or a sound": having a single unvaried pitch
    • 1799, John Walker, Elements of Elocution, Cooper and Wilson, page 309:
      It is no very difficult matter to be loud in a high tone of voice; but to be loud and forcible in a low tone, requires great practice and management; this, however, may be facilitated by pronouncing forcibly at firſt in a low monotone; a monotone, though in a low key, and without force, is much more ſonorous and audible than when the voice ſlides up and down at almoſt every word, as it muſt do to be various.
    • 1940, Asiatic Society (Calcutta, Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, India), Journal of the Asiatic Society, page 95:
      The prominence of the syllables is more monotone than in English, the intonation of the latter having a larger variation of stressed and unstressed syllables.
    • 1998, Roger W. Shuy, Bureaucratic Language in Government and Business, Georgetown University Press, Research on Telephone vs. In-Person Administrative Hearings, page 76:
      In the formal register, such variation is reduced and the talk has a more monotone, business-like quality.


  • Italian: monotonale
  • Russian: монотонный
  • Swedish: monoton


  1. A single unvaried tone of speech or a sound
    When Tina felt like her parents were treating her like a servant, she would speak in monotone and act as though she were a robot.



  • /mɔnɔtɔn/


  1. Monotone
  2. Whose speech is monotone.
  3. Boring due to uniformity or lack of variety; monotonous.



  1. Feminine plural form of monotono

Extensive Definition

Monotone refers to a sound, for example speech or music, that has a single unvaried tone.
Monotone or monotonicity may also refer to:
monotone in German: Monotonie
monotone in French: Monotonie

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1