9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[muh-not-n-uh s] /məˈnɒt n əs/
lacking in variety; tediously unvarying:
the monotonous flat scenery.
characterizing a sound continuing on one note.
having very little inflection; limited to a narrow pitch range.
Origin of monotonous
1770-80; < Late Greek monótonos. See mono-, tone, -ous
Related forms
monotonously, adverb
monotonousness, noun
unmonotonous, adjective
unmonotonously, adverb
Can be confused
monotonic, monotonous.
1. tedious, humdrum, boring, dull. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for monotonous
  • Everyone has had the mindless slipup during a monotonous task.
  • The only sound is a monotonous, liquid drone.
  • And a speaking voice as monotonous as a shower on a windless day.
  • This type of situation is occuring now with an almost monotonous regularity.
  • At Calgary's airport, a whopping 73% of employees left the apparently monotonous but stressful job.
  • All this means that wine is in danger of becoming “increasingly industrial, increasingly monotonous”.
  • Thus, her palette of soft greyish browns never grows monotonous.
  • And it's not just me: op-ed columns have started to complain about his lack of audible passion and his monotonous cadences.
  • If we all wrote about our childhood forever, books would be rather monotonous.
  • After a while, it just gets monotonous seeing them always win.
British Dictionary definitions for monotonous


dull and tedious, esp because of repetition
unvarying in pitch or cadence
Derived Forms
monotonously, adverb
monotonousness, 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 monotonous

1750, of sound, from Greek monotonos "of one tone" (see monotony). Transferred and figurative use, "lacking in variety, uninteresting," is from 1783. Related: Monotonously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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