• WordNet 3.6
    • n intonation the production of musical tones (by voice or instrument); especially the exactitude of the pitch relations
    • n intonation the act of singing in a monotonous tone
    • n intonation singing by a soloist of the opening piece of plainsong
    • n intonation rise and fall of the voice pitch
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Intonation A thundering; thunder.
    • Intonation (Mus) 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. See Intone v. t.
    • Intonation (Mus) Singing or playing in good tune or otherwise; as, her intonation was false.
    • Intonation (Mus) The act of sounding the tones of the musical scale.
    • Intonation The manner of speaking, especially the placement of emphasis, the cadence, and the rise and fall of the pitch of the voice while speaking.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n intonation A thundering; thunder.
    • n intonation Utterance of tones; mode of enunciation; modulation of the voice in speaking; also, expression of sentiment or emotion by variations of tone: as, his intonation was resonant or harsh.
    • n intonation The act of intoning or speaking with the singing voice; specifically, the use of musical tones in ecclesiastical delivery: as, the intonation of the litany.
    • n intonation In music: The process or act of producing tones in general or a particular series of tones, like a scale, especially with the voice. The term is often also used specifically to denote the relation in pitch of tones, however produced, to the key or the harmony to which they properly belong; and it is then applied both to vocal and to instrumental tones, and is characterized as pure, just, true, or as impure, false intonation.
    • n intonation In plain-song, the two or more notes leading up to the dominant or reciting-tone of a chant or melody, and usually sung by but one or a few voices. The proper intonation varies with the mode used, and also with the text to be sung.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Intonation act or manner of sounding musical notes: modulation of the voice: the opening phrase of any plain-song melody, sung usually either by the officiating priest alone, or by one or more selected choristers
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. intonation,. See Intone
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Low L. intonāre, -ātum—L. in tonum, according to tone.


In literature:

The sudden clearness of intonation, from a man who, up to this time, had scarcely spoken above his breath, startled us all.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 54, No. 337, November, 1843" by Various
A little while after I chanced to be at Padua, and there, in the church of S. Anthony, I found him again, again intoning rhetoric.
"A Wanderer in Venice" by E.V. Lucas
Zoroaster remembered that intonation of her sweet voice, and he smiled in his beard.
"Marzio's Crucifix and Zoroaster" by F. Marion Crawford
Henriot tried patiently to disentangle this desert-music that their intoning voices woke, from the humming of the blood in his own veins.
"Four Weird Tales" by Algernon Blackwood
Two or three services are intoned before the image of the Buddha each day.
"Hinduism and Buddhism, An Historical Sketch, Vol. 3 (of 3)" by Charles Eliot
Then there is the fair Villager who intones Walt Whitman to music of her own composition; that is a bit trying, I grant you.
"Greenwich Village" by Anna Alice Chapin
In Miss Constantia's intonation of her favourite 'impossible!
"Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 425" by Various
During his deliberate intoning of the lessons, they thought of all their worldly affairs, and while he preached, they slept.
"Sally Bishop" by E. Temple Thurston
He would intone the prayers.
"The Vicissitudes of Bessie Fairfax" by Harriet Parr
The Chancellor stepped forward and with much rattle of parchment opened the roll and cleared his throat preparatory to intoning.
"Beatrix of Clare" by John Reed Scott

In poetry:

And seal a bond between us two,
Closer than mortal ever knew;
For as mute masses I intone
The Moon is mine and mine alone.
"Moon-Lover" by Robert W Service
The young priest kneels at the altar,
Then lifts the Host above;
And the psalm intoned from the psalter
Is pure with patient love.
"At Vespers" by Madison Julius Cawein
Voices whose sad intonations
Seemingly, as flit they past,
Bring to memory hopes long shattered,
Blissful dreams too bright to last.
"In The Twilight" by Madge Morris Wagner
Again to hear the wild anthem,
The intonations of the pines,
And all the mystic airs of them
A-soughing through the vast confines
Of Lauderdale is my delight.
"My Delight" by Samuel Alfred Beadle
I think that the wise men of Avebury
Are better left unborn;
I think that those who wrote runes on the stones,
Intoning at evening, labouring at dawn,
Knew this also.
"Avebury" by Dorothy Violet Wellesley
Let the moon with soft, gentle light me descry,
Let the dawn send forth its fleeting, brilliant light,
In murmurs grave allow the wind to sigh,
And should a bird descend on my cross and alight,
Let the bird intone a song of peace o'er my site.
"The Last Poem of Rizal" by Jose Rizal

In news:

Colin Firth was in town to promote his new film 'The King's Speech,' while Werner Herzog intoned about albino alligators in his 3-D film 'Cave of Forgotten Dreams.
"Beauty may be only skin deep, but ugly is to the bone," the queen of the thunderously intoned wisecrack, Tallulah Bankhead, is reputed to have said on the subject of appearances.
Hot Rodding an Early '80s Squier Telecaster, Part 11: Adjusting the Intonation .
Hot Rodding an Early '80s Squier Telecaster, Part 11: Adjusting the Intonation.
I confess that I smugly pictured the legion of those who smugly intone "crusades" whenever the talk gets around to violence and religion.
Just as one song on the radio fades away and another begins, a ghostly voice intones: "Iced coffee at McDonald's.".
The waiter intoned, bending over the table and sounding very much like a priest probing for a painful confession.
"Billions of taxpayer dollars spent on green energy went to jobs in foreign countries," it intones.
PiL's John Lydon explains music as communication and why expression trumps intonation.
And at that time nobody had figured out the intonation on it.
"Take the kinks out of your mind," intoned Marcus Garvey, founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), "instead of out of your hair.
"Every president inherits challenges," Freeman intones.
"I was in the winter of my life and the men I met along the way were my only summer," the singer intones.
But back to Yoho's metaphorical horse-testicle-based assertion: Given congressional dudes' latest intonations on ladies' bodies, you could actually argue that the last thing Capitol Hill needs is more balls.
That idea is communicated right away in "Call the Midwife " when Vanessa Redgrave, who narrates the show as the voice of the older Jennifer Worth, intones: " Midwifery is the very stuff of life.

In science:

The just intonation actually belongs to a special class of the tuning methods called “perfect tuning” among which are also the Pythagorean tuning, mean-tone temperament, etc.
Music in Terms of Science
So he constructed the so-called Just Intonation Scale with the corresponding intervals listed in table 3.3.
Music in Terms of Science
There is a considerable literature on the relationship between intonational phrasing and syntactic phenomena.
Some Bibliographical References on Intonation and Intonational Meaning
For general discussion of the intonational characteristics of longer discourses, see (Brazil et al., 1980; Brown et al., 1980; Brown and Yule, 1983).
Some Bibliographical References on Intonation and Intonational Meaning
Synthesis by rule of English intonation patterns.
Some Bibliographical References on Intonation and Intonational Meaning