Definition of monosyllabic in English:



  • 1(of a word or utterance) consisting of one syllable.

    • ‘Well, that's great, I told myself, I managed to squeeze about seven monosyllabic words into that lovely conversation.’
    • ‘Sanskrit is built in such a way that virtually every word in the language can be derived from a root, a monosyllabic sound unit having a general significance in the sphere of action.’
    • ‘He tried multiple times to draw me into a conversation but I only responded with monosyllabic answers.’
    • ‘We listed a few words that we claimed were just exceptions to the claim that monosyllabic adjectives inflect, and we included wrong on that list.’
    • ‘Most who spoke (and many offered only monosyllabic answers), claimed they intended to change their ways or had learned their lesson.’
    • ‘A movie theatre concession girl, Debbie, meets the store clerk at a laundromat and tries to make awkward, one-sided, monosyllabic conversation.’
    • ‘Like other languages of the Sino-Tibetan group, Burmese is monosyllabic.’
    • ‘I think I'll stick to monosyllabic and disyllabic words today.’
    • ‘Jo answered, spitting out each monosyllabic word.’
    • ‘The opening couplet divides ten monosyllabic words evenly between two lines.’
    • ‘Both monosyllabic and polysyllabic words representing closed, silent-e, and vowel digraph or diphthong syllable patterns are presented.’
    • ‘The first two lines, containing only monosyllabic words, mix a sing-song dimeter with a grim subject matter.’
    • ‘This involves the names of social groups that are derived from monosyllabic adjectives, like black and gay.’
    • ‘Why are there so many syllables in the word monosyllabic?’
    • ‘He answered her questions with monosyllabic responses.’
    • ‘Sino-Tibetan languages are distinguished from western language families by two main traits: isolating or monosyllabic characters and the use of tones.’
    • ‘Chinese is monosyllabic, Japanese is polysyllabic; Japanese verbs, adjectives and adverbs inflect, whereas they don't in Chinese.’
    • ‘Chinese is a monosyllabic language, where a single sound represents one word.’
    • ‘As they continue to develop, children learn to segment polysyllabic words into syllables as they approach kindergarten age and monosyllabic words into phonemes around first grade.’
    • ‘As you know he had a stroke in 1985 and lost the ability to speak, apart from a few dozen monosyllabic words like yes and no, and other basic simple things.’
    1. 1.1 (of a person) using brief or few words to signify reluctance to engage in conversation.
      ‘a monosyllabic footballer’
      • ‘This is a book of footballers when they were stars and not the monosyllabic, monotone ‘celebrities’ that exist today’
      • ‘He's dead certain and often nearly monosyllabic.’
      • ‘Georges' wife, who works for a successful editor, is concerned: not least for their monosyllabic son, Pierrot, a young swimming champ.’
      • ‘In Mexico City, where kidnapping occurs more frequently than in Iraq, security for the rich is essential and so the monosyllabic Creasy is hired as a bodyguard for eight-year-old Pita (Fanning).’
      • ‘On examination, he was anxious, diaphoretic, and monosyllabic.’
      • ‘‘You're usually not so monosyllabic,’ she told me earnestly as we walked.’
      • ‘Having inspected the larder, Mary decided to prepare a steak pudding and when Bertha's monosyllabic husband, Davy, took a second helping her fate was sealed.’
      • ‘The end result can sometimes resemble a conversation between two monosyllabic adolescents.’
      • ‘Surly, monosyllabic drivers aside, it's a minor miracle if the bus actually rolls up at all!’
      • ‘She shifted her weight and looked at the ceiling. ‘Well, for one I guess I could try and not be completely closed off and monosyllabic.’
      • ‘I would have sensed if there had been any anxiety, but it was only the night before the race that he began to be monosyllabic.’
      • ‘‘So he's what's made you so monosyllabic,’ she commented.’
      • ‘I am a monosyllabic girl every time I'm near him.’
      • ‘By contrast, this character is a Latino version of Hawk, the darkly menacing, monosyllabic backup man he created for his Spenser detective series.’
      • ‘He's very monosyllabic, and could put to sleep an over stimulated mule.’
      • ‘He's also under the impression that the word ‘dis’ evolved because ‘we are increasingly monosyllabic.’’
      • ‘He is permanently monosyllabic unless the subject happens to be narrow-gauge North American railways, and he never uses a word where a silent, dismissive glare would do.’
      • ‘Our monosyllabic waiter briefly sprung into life when it came to choosing from the wine list.’
      • ‘So I eventually called up the helpline, and the monosyllabic customer advisor at the end of the phone informed me that there was indeed a delay.’
      • ‘It used to be that whenever I called such places, I would be greeted by people who sounded like monosyllabic, grumpy teenagers.’
      brief, concise, terse, succinct, short, economical, elliptical, crisp, pithy, to the point, incisive, short and sweet, compendious
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