See also: Intonation

English Edit

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Etymology Edit

From French intonation, from Medieval Latin intonatio, from intonō +‎ -tiō.

Pronunciation Edit

  • IPA(key): /ɪntəˈneɪʃən/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪʃən

Noun Edit

intonation (countable and uncountable, plural intonations)

  1. (linguistics) The rise and fall of the voice in speaking.
  2. Emotive stress used to increase the power of delivery in speech.
    • 1838 (date written), L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter XVI, in Lady Anne Granard; or, Keeping up Appearances. [], volume I, London: Henry Colburn, [], published 1842, →OCLC, page 210:
      She well knew the power of intonation, and thought that, in the absence of the curled lip, the contemptuous twitch of the nose, and the supercilious toss of the head, her message might be acceptable for Louisa's sake,...
  3. A sound made by, or resembling that made by, a musical instrument.
    • 1805, Titus Lucretius Carus, The nature of things: a didactic poem:
      This additional cause of the intonation of thunder, together with the simile with which it is illustrated, is copied from our poet, both by Pliny, Nat. Hist. ii, 431, and Isidorus, Orig. xiii.
    • 1808, Richard Cumberland, The Exodiad: A Poem, page 375:
      As when sulphureous fires, within the caves
      Of earth long pent, with intonation loud
      Burst through the riven rocks, and far as eye
      Can reach their furious devastation spread,
      So sudden, so resistless was the force
      Of this blasphemer's bold appeal to arms.
    • 1824, Sir James Bland Burges afterwards Lamb, The Dragon Knight: A Poem in Twelve Cantos, page 77:
      In anxious expectation stood the crowd,
      When the shrill clarion's intonation loud
      Gave notice that the challenger drew nigh.
    • 1825, Friedrich Heinrich Karl Freiherr de La Motte-Fouqué, The Magic Ring; a Romance, from the German, Etc, page 287:
      but Sir Hugh still exclaimed, —"Louder, old man, far louder!" till at last the minstrel, in obedience to his best and dearest friend, struck the harp with such violence, that not only did the strings break, but even the instrument itself burst asunder with a long melancholy intonation.
  4. Singing or playing in good tune or otherwise.
    Her intonation was false.
  5. Reciting in a musical prolonged tone; intonating or singing of the opening phrase of a plain-chant, psalm, or canticle by a single voice, as of a priest.

Derived terms Edit

Related terms Edit

Translations Edit

References Edit

French Edit

Pronunciation Edit

Noun Edit

intonation f (plural intonations)

  1. intonation (all senses)

Further reading Edit