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See more synonyms for monotonous on Thesaurus.com
  1. lacking in variety; tediously unvarying: the monotonous flat scenery.
  2. characterizing a sound continuing on one note.
  3. having very little inflection; limited to a narrow pitch range.
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Origin of monotonous

From the Late Greek word monótonos, dating back to 1770–80. See mono-, tone, -ous
Related formsmo·not·o·nous·ly, adverbmo·not·o·nous·ness, nounun·mo·not·o·nous, adjectiveun·mo·not·o·nous·ly, adverb
Can be confusedmonotonic monotonous


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for monotonously

Historical Examples

  • "I cannot tell you anything about them," Joan said monotonously.

    Slaves of Mercury

    Nat Schachner

  • The speaker suddenly began to whine softly and monotonously.

  • And the march continued, monotonously, almost like a bad sleep.

    The Prussian Officer

    D. H. Lawrence

  • "You will find that you cannot," the passionless creature returned, monotonously.


    Edward Elmer Smith

  • And so for some two hours the vessel crept on, wearily as it seemed and monotonously.

    A Prisoner of Morro

    Upton Sinclair

British Dictionary definitions for monotonously


  1. dull and tedious, esp because of repetition
  2. unvarying in pitch or cadence
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Derived Formsmonotonously, adverbmonotonousness, 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

Word Origin and History for monotonously



1750, of sound, from Greek monotonos "of one tone" (see monotony). Transferred and figurative use, "lacking in variety, uninteresting," is from 1783. Related: Monotonously.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper