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[mon-uh-sil-uh-buh l] /ˈmɒn əˌsɪl ə bəl/
a word of one syllable, as yes or no.
Origin of monosyllable
1525-35; mono- + syllable Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for monosyllables
  • He communicates with his formerly happy family in monosyllables, and spends too much time sharpening his ax.
  • He talks in simple, declarative sentences that are heavy on monosyllables.
  • They have taken to spending hour upon hour staring into space, grunting in monosyllables, listlessly chewing carrots and brooding.
  • Mike began to have confidence in the guy's monosyllables.
  • He spoke in monosyllables, chewed gum, wore shades and mumbled about his new rap career.
  • Then answer in monosyllables, and do all you can to discourage it.
British Dictionary definitions for monosyllables


a word of one syllable, esp one used as a sentence
Derived Forms
monosyllabism, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for monosyllables



1530s, from Latin monosyllabus "of one syllable," from Greek monosyllabos, from monos "single, alone" (see mono-) + syllabe "syllable" (see syllable).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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