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90s Slang You Should Know


[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
From the Late Greek word monótonos, dating back to 1770-80. 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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for monotonous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The hero may, of course, sometimes die; but not always; that would be too monotonous.

    Chaucer and His England G. G. Coulton
  • The monotonous cry of the leadsman in the chains was the only sound audible.

  • The airs generally are plaintive and monotonous, and have a sad and weary sound.

    The Women of the Arabs Henry Harris Jessup
  • The scenery of this branch was as monotonous as that of the other.

    The Three Midshipmen W.H.G. Kingston
  • We had no spur to enliven our thoughts in our monotonous life.

    On Commando Dietlof Van Warmelo
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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