[in-toh-ney-shuh n, -tuh-]
the pattern or melody of pitch changes in connected speech, especially the pitch pattern of a sentence, which distinguishes kinds of sentences or speakers of different language cultures.
the act or manner of intonating.
the manner of producing musical tones, specifically the relation in pitch of tones to their key or harmony.
something that is intoned or chanted.
the opening phrase in a Gregorian chant, usually sung by one or two voices.
Caring About Whether You Couldn’t Care Less
When you want to colloquially express that you don’t care at all about something, you might say “I couldn’t care less.” This phrase first popped up in British English at the turn of the 20th century and is still popular today. In the 1960s, a controversial American variant of this phase entered popular usage: “I could care less.” Many native English speakers, both in the …
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Origin of intonation
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
the sound pattern of phrases and sentences produced by pitch variation in the voice
the act or manner of intoning
an intoned, chanted, or monotonous utterance; incantation
music the opening of a piece of plainsong, sung by a soloist
- the correct or accurate pitching of intervals
- the capacity to play or sing in tuneSee also just intonation
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
1610s, "opening phrase of a melody," from French intonation, from Medieval Latin intonationem (nominative intonatio), from past participle stem of intonare (see intone). Meaning "modulation of the voice in speaking" is from 1791.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper