To intonate is to speak in a deliberate, almost musical way. Most poets intonate when they read their poems aloud.

You'll intonate when you're speaking carefully to someone who can't hear well, and also when you're giving a speech. Chanting or reciting a story, song, or piece of verse also requires you to intonate — modulating the way your voice rises and falls as you speak. Intonate comes from the Medieval Latin intonare, "speak according to tone," from the Greek root tonos, "string," or "pitch."

Definitions of intonate
  1. verb
    speak carefully, as with rising and falling pitch or in a particular tone
    “please intonate with sadness”
    synonyms: intone
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    type of:
    judge, label, pronounce
    pronounce judgment on
  2. verb
    recite with musical intonation; recite as a chant or a psalm
    synonyms: cantillate, chant, intone
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    speak, chant, or declaim in a singsong
    type of:
    produce tones with the voice
Word Family

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