See more synonyms for intone on
verb (used with object), in·toned, in·ton·ing.
  1. to utter with a particular tone or voice modulation.
  2. to give tone or variety of tone to; vocalize.
  3. to utter in a singing voice (the first tones of a section in a liturgical service).
  4. to recite or chant in monotone.
verb (used without object), in·toned, in·ton·ing.
  1. to speak or recite in a singing voice, especially in monotone; chant.
  2. Music. to produce a tone, or a particular series of tones, like a scale, especially with the voice.

Origin of intone

1475–85; < Medieval Latin intonāre; replacing earlier entone < Middle French entoner < Medieval Latin; see in-2, tone
Related formsin·ton·er, nounhalf-in·toned, adjectiveun·in·toned, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for intoner


  1. to utter, recite, or sing (a chant, prayer, etc) in a monotonous or incantatory tone
  2. (intr) to speak with a particular or characteristic intonation or tone
  3. to sing (the opening phrase of a psalm, etc) in plainsong
Derived Formsintoner, noun

Word Origin for intone

C15: from Medieval Latin intonare, from in- ² + tone
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

Word Origin and History for intoner



late 14c., entunen "sing, chant, recite," from Old French entoner "sing, chant" (13c.), from Medieval Latin intonare "sing according to tone," from Latin in- "in" (see in- (2)) + tonus "tone," from Greek tonos (see tenet). A different verb intone was in use 17c.18c., from Latin intonare "to thunder, resound," figuratively "to cry out vehemently," from tonare "to thunder." Related: Intoned; intoning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper