Etymology
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intonation (n.)

1610s, "opening phrase of a melody," from French intonation (14c.), from Medieval Latin intonationem (nominative intonatio), noun of state from past participle stem of intonare (see intone). From 1788 as "action of intoning." Meaning "modulation of the voice in speaking, utterance of tones" is from 1791.

updated on December 23, 2015

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Definitions of intonation from WordNet

intonation (n.)
rise and fall of the voice pitch;
Synonyms: modulation / pitch contour
intonation (n.)
singing by a soloist of the opening piece of plainsong;
intonation (n.)
the act of singing in a monotonous tone;
Synonyms: chanting
intonation (n.)
the production of musical tones (by voice or instrument); especially the exactitude of the pitch relations;
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.