tuneless

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj tuneless not having a musical sound or pleasing tune
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Tuneless Not employed in making music; as, tuneless harps.
    • Tuneless Not expressed in music or poetry; unsung.
    • Tuneless Without tune; inharmonious; unmusical. "Thy tuneless serenade.""How often have I led thy sportive choir,
      With tuneless pipe, beside the murmuring Loire!"
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • tuneless Unmusical; inharmonious.
    • tuneless Not employed in or not capable of making music.
    • tuneless Not expressed rhythmically or musically; silent; without voice or utterance.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Tuneless without tune or melody: silent
    • ***

Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A doublet of tone.

Usage

In literature:

The tuneless whistling went on.
"The Letter of the Contract" by Basil King
They have chanted a depressing psalm or two to the most tuneless of ancient ditties.
"Molly Bawn" by Margaret Wolfe Hamilton
The other sat down, whistling tunelessly.
"Security" by Poul William Anderson
The huge carter was sprawling on the front sacks, yelling a tuneless chant at the top of his voice.
"Adam Johnstone's Son" by F. Marion Crawford
Lyman saw nothing of Warren the next day, but on the day following he strode into the room, whistling in tuneless good humor.
"Old Ebenezer" by Opie Read
Uncle Alfred's tuneless humming began again.
"Moor Fires" by E. H. (Emily Hilda) Young
I lifted to thine image my loud praises, And lo, bells hoarse and tuneless answered them.
"Life Immovable" by Kostes Palamas
It was a tuneless drone, yet not unmusical.
"Explorers of the Dawn" by Mazo de la Roche
The wind whistled around the cliffs, ceaselessly moaning a tuneless song.
"The Judas Valley" by Gerald Vance
The blood in his throbbing temples sang a dull, tuneless song.
"The Dop Doctor" by Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
And yet, who that knows it does not love his earnest, long-drawn trill, dry and tuneless as it is?
"Birds in the Bush" by Bradford Torrey
He reached for a drawer in his dresser, opened it and pulled out some underclothes, humming tunelessly under his breath as he dressed.
"Occasion for Disaster" by Gordon Randall Garrett
His ear was bad and tuneless.
"Ephemera Critica" by John Churton Collins
The whistling was young, tuneless.
"The Westerners" by Stewart Edward White
Passing out of the open front door, he paused upon the stoop and began a shrill little tuneless whistle.
"The Triumph of Virginia Dale" by John Francis, Jr.
Donne's frequent use of roughly-accentual, almost tuneless lines is unexplained and was not often followed.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 9, Slice 6" by Various
I always sing at my work, and what's more, my song is not tuneless.
"Canadian Fairy Tales" by Cyrus Macmillan
His eyes were very bright as they fixed on me, and his voice, harsh, high pitched and tuneless.
"By Right of Sword" by Arthur W. Marchmont
He passed into the garden and loitered there, recalling the notes after a tuneless fashion of his own.
"Mitchelhurst Place, Vol. I (of 2)" by Margaret Veley
She spoke at last in a hard, tuneless voice, as though her youth and life were slowly dying just as surely as the day was fading.
"Behind the Throne" by William Le Queux
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In poetry:

Pleasanter now it is to hold
That here, where sang he, more of him
Remains than where he, tuneless, cold,
Passed to the dim.
"At A House In Hampstead Sometime The Dwelling Of John Keats" by Thomas Hardy
In vain, with dull and tuneless ear,
I linger by soft Music's cell,
And in my heart of hearts would hear
What to her own she deigns to tell.
"Fourth Sunday In Advent" by John Keble
For cold's the form o'er which he hung
With raptur'd eye the morn before;
And mute and tuneless is the tongue
That charm'd so late on Bara's shore;
"The Harp. A Legendary Tale. In Two Parts" by Hector MacNeill
Let her have laughter with her little one;
Teach her the endless, tuneless songs to sing,
Grant her her right to whisper to her son
The foolish names one dare not call a king.
"Prayer For a New Mother" by Dorothy Parker
Nature! we storm thine ear with choric notes.
Thou answerest through the calm great nights and days,
"Laud me who will: not tuneless are your throats;
Yet if ye paused I should not miss the praise."
"Wordsworth's Grave" by William Watson
When Israel sate by Babel's stream and wept,
The heathen said, "Sing one of Zion's songs;"
But tuneless lay the lyre of those who slept
Where Sharon bloomed and Oreb vigil kept;
For holy song to holy ears belongs.
"The Lute Of Afric's Tribe" by Albery Allson Whitman

In news:

Tunelessly, repeatedly, long after it was a joke, he would sing the lyrics to "America the Beautiful" at campaign rallies.
Over a flat, Soul Coughing-style hip-hop beat and bored-angel backing vocals, David Longstreth tunelessly yap-croons like David Byrne on a medieval torture rack.
A moldy, nightmare glut of tuneless gypsy guitar plucks, one-drum pum-pums, and weak, strangulated woodwind wisps accompanies Satya Sai and Rev.
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