Monotone is a droning, unchanging tone. Nothing can put you to sleep quite as effectively as a teacher talking in a monotone.

The Greek word for "one tone" is monotonia, which is the root for both monotone and the closely-related word monotonous, which means "dull and tedious." A continuous sound, especially someone's voice, that doesn't rise and fall in pitch, is a monotone. When someone speaks in a monotone, his voice is flat and boring — plus listeners don't know how the speaker is feeling when everything sounds the same.

Definitions of monotone
  1. noun
    an unchanging intonation
    synonyms: drone, droning
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    type of:
    cadence, intonation, modulation, pitch contour
    rise and fall of the voice pitch
  2. noun
    a single tone repeated with different words or different rhythms (especially in rendering liturgical texts)
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    type of:
    musical note, note, tone
    a notation representing the pitch and duration of a musical sound
  3. adjective
    sounded or spoken in a tone unvarying in pitch
    synonyms: flat, monotonic, monotonous
    characterized by lack of variation in pitch, tone, or volume
  4. adjective
    of a sequence or function; consistently increasing and never decreasing or consistently decreasing and never increasing in value
    synonyms: monotonic
    decreasing monotonic
    consistently decreasing
    increasing monotonic
    consistently increasing
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    not monotonic
Word Family