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Definition of "intonation" []

  • The act of intoning or chanting. (noun)
  • An intoned utterance. (noun)
  • A manner of producing or uttering tones, especially with regard to accuracy of pitch. (noun)
  • Linguistics The use of changing pitch to convey syntactic information: a questioning intonation. (noun)
  • A use of pitch characteristic of a speaker or dialect: "He could hear authority, the old parish intonation coming back into his voice” ( Graham Greene). (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "intonation" in a sentence
  • "Anything sing-song falls into this category, such as the calling intonation of 'Come and ge-et it'."
  • "My name is not that strange, but if the intonation is Swedish most people just can not make out the syllables."
  • "The word for Lord is "chop" and the word for pig is "choooo," and the Chinese missionary made a mistake in intonation with the result that a cartoon appeared showing a man bowing down before a pig which had been nailed upon a cross."