Definition of monosyllabic in English:



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

    • ‘The first two lines, containing only monosyllabic words, mix a sing-song dimeter with a grim subject matter.’
    • ‘Jo answered, spitting out each monosyllabic word.’
    • ‘Both monosyllabic and polysyllabic words representing closed, silent-e, and vowel digraph or diphthong syllable patterns are presented.’
    • ‘A movie theatre concession girl, Debbie, meets the store clerk at a laundromat and tries to make awkward, one-sided, monosyllabic conversation.’
    • ‘Chinese is monosyllabic, Japanese is polysyllabic; Japanese verbs, adjectives and adverbs inflect, whereas they don't in Chinese.’
    • ‘I think I'll stick to monosyllabic and disyllabic words today.’
    • ‘Why are there so many syllables in the word monosyllabic?’
    • ‘He tried multiple times to draw me into a conversation but I only responded with monosyllabic answers.’
    • ‘Like other languages of the Sino-Tibetan group, Burmese is monosyllabic.’
    • ‘Well, that's great, I told myself, I managed to squeeze about seven monosyllabic words into that lovely conversation.’
    • ‘Most who spoke (and many offered only monosyllabic answers), claimed they intended to change their ways or had learned their lesson.’
    • ‘Chinese is a monosyllabic language, where a single sound represents one word.’
    • ‘The opening couplet divides ten monosyllabic words evenly between two lines.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This involves the names of social groups that are derived from monosyllabic adjectives, like black and gay.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1 (of a person) using brief or few words to signify reluctance to engage in conversation.
      ‘a monosyllabic footballer’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Our monosyllabic waiter briefly sprung into life when it came to choosing from the wine list.’
      • ‘On examination, he was anxious, diaphoretic, and monosyllabic.’
      • ‘‘You're usually not so monosyllabic,’ she told me earnestly as we walked.’
      • ‘It used to be that whenever I called such places, I would be greeted by people who sounded like monosyllabic, grumpy teenagers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Georges' wife, who works for a successful editor, is concerned: not least for their monosyllabic son, Pierrot, a young swimming champ.’
      • ‘He's also under the impression that the word ‘dis’ evolved because ‘we are increasingly monosyllabic.’’
      • ‘He's dead certain and often nearly monosyllabic.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The end result can sometimes resemble a conversation between two monosyllabic adolescents.’
      • ‘‘So he's what's made you so monosyllabic,’ she commented.’
      • ‘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).’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I am a monosyllabic girl every time I'm near him.’
      • ‘This is a book of footballers when they were stars and not the monosyllabic, monotone ‘celebrities’ that exist today’
      brief, concise, terse, succinct, short, economical, elliptical, crisp, pithy, to the point, incisive, short and sweet, compendious
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