Definition of monosyllable in English:

monosyllable

noun

  • 1A word consisting of only one syllable.

    • ‘Sadly, he shook his head and replied in a monosyllable: ‘No’.’
    • ‘The play has a distinctively harsh and gritty vocabulary and poetic tone throughout, thriving on rough monosyllables.’
    • ‘I don't believe everything in life can be settled by a monosyllable - Betty Smith, American author.’
    • ‘Thankfully, though, he does seem to be managing at least to articulate some monosyllables, one of which is ‘sue’.’
    • ‘Maybe inserting a monosyllable here would have ruined the poetic symmetry of his sentence.’
    • ‘Then suddenly I was reduced to monosyllables and gestures.’
    • ‘Their choice of words is correspondingly simple, lacking the tension between polysyllables and monosyllables observed in the stanzas from the poem.’
    • ‘Just like my mother can home in on my weak points with GPS accuracy, teenagers can humiliate me with a muttered monosyllable.’
    • ‘‘No,’ came the monosyllable again and then, as though he felt this needed some reasonable elaboration David added ‘I've been sick.’’
    • ‘Most sleepwalkers respond to verbal stimuli with only grunts or monosyllables, or make no response at all.’
    • ‘She's stopped talking except for monosyllables.’
    • ‘His younger cousin, who has come up with a fine little language of his own consisting entirely of monosyllables, showed the same tendency.’
    • ‘‘Yesss,’ she spoke that monosyllable in English, drawing it out into a hiss.’
    • ‘Word-final b is rare, occurring mainly in monosyllables (hub, rib, scab), but occasionally in longer words (superb, disturb, cherub) Double B’
    • ‘The underdog defends valiantly with monosyllables.’
    • ‘As the others have their scenes read out I find myself crossing out whole chunks of dialogue from mine, reducing speeches to monosyllables and nods.’
    • ‘‘Oh,’ he said, and there was a lot more in the monosyllable than there normally was.’
    • ‘In subtler metrical styles, this correlation is relaxed, so that weak monosyllables often appear in strong positions in the meter.’
    • ‘If you have to speak, speak in short, flat monosyllables.’
    • ‘In general, the contrast of monosyllables and polysyllables (suspended in the five-word line eight) creates a strong balance.’
    1. 1.1monosyllables Brief words, signifying reluctance to engage in conversation.
      ‘if she spoke at all it was in monosyllables’
      • ‘He tried to get me talking again while I waiting for the Captain, but I just couldn't find the heart to do more than answer in monosyllables.’
      • ‘It didn't help that Jeff was so preoccupied that he answered in monosyllables, but Denise didn't think of that.’
      • ‘When she tried to initiate conversations her friend replied in monosyllables and she soon gave up.’
      • ‘Bewildered, the composer answered in monosyllables, until a frustrated Churchill gave up and turned to the guest on his left.’
      • ‘John Wayne, she points out, spoke in monosyllables, often to denounce communication and chatter.’
      • ‘He would sit across from his 14-year-old son, Matt, while they pushed takeaway food around the plate and spoke in monosyllables.’
      • ‘Maxine was keeping up a cheerful banter all the way to my rooms, but by then I was too tired to reply in more than monosyllables between the yawns.’
      • ‘Ella and Joe do not remark on this departure from his usual laconic monosyllables.’
      • ‘The son sells watches on the street for a living, speaking only in monosyllables to his customers.’
      • ‘His son recalls, ‘Dad originally thought that his interviews with Mother Teresa had flopped because she only answered in monosyllables.’’
      • ‘Again and again, their examiners claimed they were unresponsive, ‘lowering their eyes… staring at the floor, only answering in monosyllables.’’
      • ‘Alana didn't seem to have such problems, wandering over every few minutes to Romeo who either ignored her or answered her in monosyllables.’
      • ‘She tries to strike up a conversation with him, and he responds in monosyllables, clearly not wanting to talk.’
      • ‘He tried to talk with her, but she simply stared straight ahead and answered him in monosyllables.’
      • ‘He tried his best to strike up a conversation with her but she was unresponsive and spoke in monosyllables.’
      • ‘Jeff responds in monosyllables and Travis, my best guy friend, gets incredibly distracted by what is going on in the room around him.’
      • ‘If someone is asking you about yourself, answer in monosyllables.’

Pronunciation:

monosyllable

/ˈmänəˌsiləb(ə)l/