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monotone

[mon-uh-tohn] /ˈmɒn əˌtoʊn/
noun
1.
a vocal utterance or series of speech sounds in one unvaried tone.
2.
a single tone without harmony or variation in pitch.
3.
recitation or singing of words in such a tone.
4.
a person who is unable to discriminate between or to reproduce differences in musical pitch, especially in singing.
5.
sameness of tone or color, sometimes to a boring degree.
adjective
7.
consisting of or characterized by a uniform tone of one color:
a monotone drape.
Compare monochromatic (defs 1, 2).
8.
Mathematics, monotonic (def 2).
Origin of monotone
1635-1645
1635-45; < French monotone < Late Greek monótonos monotonous
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for monotone
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When the theme ceases, the brass blow the rhythm on a monotone, midst an ascending obligato of strings.

  • There was a monotone of desolation as she went on speaking in a whisper meant for the ears of no other.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • This had become a monotone that rather got on the girls nerves.

    Ruth Fielding Down in Dixie Alice B. Emerson
  • Then her voice rose above the monotone that had contented her hitherto.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Dully her voice rose to its monotone: "But I don't suppose—we shall live in a—house," she moaned apathetically.

    Little Eve Edgarton Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
British Dictionary definitions for monotone

monotone

/ˈmɒnəˌtəʊn/
noun
1.
a single unvaried pitch level in speech, sound, etc
2.
utterance, etc, without change of pitch
3.
lack of variety in style, expression. etc
adjective
4.
unvarying or monotonous
5.
(maths) Also monotonic (ˌmɒnəˈtɒnɪk). (of a sequence or function) consistently increasing or decreasing in value
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 monotone
n.

"unvarying tone in music or speaking," 1640s; see monotony. OED says use of the word as a noun "is peculiar to Eng." Related: Monotonic; monotonically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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