• (British) IPA: /ˈmɒ.nə.təʊn/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈmɑː.nə.toʊn/


  1. (of speech or a sound) Having a single unvaried pitch.
    • 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.
  2. (mathematics) Being, or having the salient properties of, a monotone function.
    The function f(x):=x^3 is monotone on \R, while g(x):=x^2 is not.
  • German: monton
  • Italian: monotonale
  • Portuguese: monótono, monotónico (Portugal), monotônico (Brazil)
  • Russian: моното́нный
  • Spanish: monótono


  1. A single unvaried tone of speech or a sound.
    When Tima felt like her parents were treating her like a servant, she would speak in monotone and act as though she were a robot.
    • 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.
  2. A piece of writing in one strain throughout.

monotone (monotones, present participle monotoning; past and past participle monotoned)

  1. (ambitransitive) To speak in a monotone.

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