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Monotony   /mənˈɑtəni/   Listen
Monotony

noun
1.
The quality of wearisome constancy, routine, and lack of variety.  Synonyms: humdrum, sameness.  "He was sick of the humdrum of his fellow prisoners" , "He hated the sameness of the food the college served"
2.
Constancy of tone or pitch or inflection.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Monotony" Quotes from Famous Books



... friendship of the carabao; for he thought that, if they were friendly, this big fellow would help him whenever he got into trouble. So he said to the carabao, "Let us live together and hunt out food together! thus we shall break the monotony of our ...
— Filipino Popular Tales • Dean S. Fansler

... much as possible of the color of the surrounding country may apply among the gray hills of Westmoreland; but among the green hills of Jamaica, the white which he deprecates forms a welcome relief to the splendid monotony of glowing emerald. It is not amiss to call it emerald, for there are so many plants here with glossy leaves, that under the brilliant sunlight the lustre of the green is almost more than the eye can bear. To the southward of Oberlin station, formerly belonging to our mission, rises a range of ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. IV. October, 1863, No. IV. - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... an interlude whose placid monotony was tempered by much equally placid incident. The Americans liked the village, and the village rejoiced in the Americans, so that they came to know each other very well. More than once Flavia thought of the legend of Al-Mansor, and that if one of these days could be deemed happy ...
— From the Car Behind • Eleanor M. Ingram

... floor of the vast table-land that each mile looked exactly like another mile. There was not a tree, not a shrub, not a rock to break the weary monotony. It was no wonder that the Spanish padres, who had crossed this enormous plateau long before, had named it the Llano Estacado—the Staked Plains. They had had a good reason of their own. In order to keep the trail ...
— Kid Wolf of Texas - A Western Story • Ward M. Stevens

... amount of snow in the mountains, that stories had not been exaggerated. The packers looked dubious. Even if we could make the climb to Doubtful Lake, it seemed impossible that we could get farther. But the monotony of the long ride was broken that afternoon by our first sight, as a party, ...
— Tenting To-night - A Chronicle of Sport and Adventure in Glacier Park and the - Cascade Mountains • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... morning we went at it again; and the next, and the next again, and then on the fourth day, when our week was drawing to its close, something at last happened to change the grim monotony of our days. ...
— Pieces of Eight • Richard le Gallienne

... the lavish use of pathos. Did we still possess the whole of the comic literature of the Greeks, we should, without doubt, find in it the models of all these species, with this difference, however, that the clear head of the Greeks assuredly never allowed them to fall into a chilling monotony, but that they arrayed and tempered all in due proportion. Have not we, even among the few pieces that remain to us, the Captives of Plautus, which may be called a pathetic drama, the Step-Mother of Terence, a true family picture; while the Amphitryo borders on the fantastic ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art - and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel trans John Black

... a form of temporal repetition, and time is the form of repetition. If he is right it is inevitable that time, fast-moving or slow-moving, must influence the conception of events. It is well-known that monotony in the run of time makes it seem slow, while time full of events goes swiftly, but appears long in memory, because a large number of points have to be thought through. Mnsterberg shows that we have to stop at every separate ...
— Robin Hood • J. Walker McSpadden

... ship-sailing community has an unconscious poetry ever underlying its existence. Exotic ideas from foreign lands relieve the trite monotony of life; the ship-owner lives in communion with the whole world, and is less likely to fall into the petty commonplaces that infest the ...
— The Pearl of Orr's Island - A Story of the Coast of Maine • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... whose training had been grossly neglected, began to study theology under the orthodox mystic, Christian August Crusius (1715-1775), who in 1757 had become first professor in the theological faculty. The boy varied the monotony of his studies by pranks which revealed his unbalanced character, including an attempt to raise spirits with the aid of Dr Faust's Hoellenzwang. His orthodoxy was, however, unimpeachable, his talent conspicuous, and in 1761 he was appointed ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 2 - "Baconthorpe" to "Bankruptcy" • Various

... one remembers from their beginnings to their ends, because of the variety and charm of the pictures offered along the way. Monotony marks the trails that fade from memory; they represent hours of marching through timber of a second growth, or skirting hills where dead sticks stand forlorn and only the fireweed blooms. Of rememberable roads the last ...
— The So-called Human Race • Bert Leston Taylor

... Mourzouk, and was distressed to find his two companions much indisposed. They set out from Mourzouk along with the caravan; the party consisted of 210 Arabs, commanded by their respective chiefs, who cheered the monotony of the way by tales and songs. The road lay along a sandy uneven soil highly impregnated with salt, the track being worn down by the footsteps of caravans. In these dreary regions no sound either of insect or of bird was heard. After ...
— Life and Travels of Mungo Park in Central Africa • Mungo Park

... practical advantages. The compact grouping of the Exposition palaces not only meant a saving of ground and labor, but it makes it easier to handle the crowds, and lessens the walking required of the visitor. There is no monotony. In developing the general idea, each architect and artist was left free to express his own personality and imagination. The result is that varied forms and colors in the different courts and buildings blend truly into the whole picture of an Oriental city, set in the midst of a vast amphitheater ...
— The Jewel City • Ben Macomber

... no time to get tired of the monotony; for in three hours we stopped at Kiel, close to ...
— A Journey to the Interior of the Earth • Jules Verne

... has been passed in all the vicissitudes of war and peace. The camp and the bivouac—the reckless gaiety of the mess-table —the comfortless solitude of a French prison—the exciting turmoils of active service—the wearisome monotony of garrison duty, I have alike partaken of, and experienced. A career of this kind, with a temperament ever ready to go with the humour of those about him will always be sure of its meed of adventure. Such has mine been; and with no greater pretension than ...
— The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer, Vol. 1 • Charles James Lever

... log cabin standing in the center of a small forested moraine four boys of about seventeen were grouped together. The one door and the two windows of the structure were covered with mosquito wire. The hum of insect life came into the room with the monotony of the murmur of the sea. Although it was after ten o'clock in the evening, the sun still rode ...
— The Call of the Beaver Patrol - or, A Break in the Glacier • V. T. Sherman

... the quiet island life went on with few incidents and pleasant monotony. With only one family was there any intercourse, and that almost entirely on Osla's part. On the shore of the great island to the west, which men called Hrossey, dwelt a large farmer, named Margad, and from his household such supplies as they needed were obtained. ...
— Vandrad the Viking - The Feud and the Spell • J. Storer Clouston

... realized all this as he paced his room that night: no; he was very strangely moved and excited. Something, he knew not what, had again stirred the monotony of his life. He had been sick and sad for a long time; for men are like children, and fret sometimes after the unattainable, if their hearts be set upon it. And yet, though he forbore to question himself too closely that night, how much of his pain had been due to ...
— Not Like Other Girls • Rosa N. Carey

... the vaguest notion of what it is all about, but for them to join the ranks means adventure, comradeship, the open air—all fascinating things; and they hail the prospect with joy as an escape from intolerable dullness—from the monotony of the desk and the stuffy office, from the dreary round and mechanical routine of the factory bench, from the depressing environment ...
— The Healing of Nations and the Hidden Sources of Their Strife • Edward Carpenter

... almost non-existent curiosity we have toward things, masquerades under the intimidating guise of the law of self-preservation. Man is at the mercy of life since, his intelligence perceiving its monotony and absurdity, he still clings to it, fascinated by the accumulated rhythm of faces, impressions, and ...
— Fantazius Mallare - A Mysterious Oath • Ben Hecht

... Soldiers of the New Army knew that in a little while the lessons they had learned in the School of Courage would be put to a more frightful test than that of holding trenches in stationary warfare. Their boredom, the intolerable monotony of that routine life, would be broken by more sensational drama, and some of them were glad of that, and said: "Let's get on with it. Anything rather than that deadly stagnation." And others, who guessed they were chosen for the coming battle, and had a clear vision of what kind of things would ...
— Now It Can Be Told • Philip Gibbs

... such an establishment, I should be loath to break it up. It is original, in these days of monotony. It is satisfactory, in these days of uncongenial relations between master and servant It is effective, in the admirable arrangements of the household. It is graceful, in the personal beauty and tasteful ...
— Gryll Grange • Thomas Love Peacock

... was perfectly content with her life. I found out afterward she evoked rare beauty out of its quiet every-day monotony, storing up precious treasures in ...
— Esther - A Book for Girls • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... whiteness, appears Mount Olympus, the habitation of the gods. The prospect on the European side is tame and unpicturesque, consisting almost entirely of a succession of flat uncultivated downs, with nothing to break the dull monotony of the scene, except here and there, where the tall slender minaret of a mosque, or a single tree, rises against the horizon, and resembles the mast of some solitary vessel ploughing its course through ...
— Journal of a Visit to Constantinople and Some of the Greek Islands in the Spring and Summer of 1833 • John Auldjo

... Welshman began to expend his surplus energy in playing football, he was accustomed, whenever the monotony of his everyday life began to oppress him, to collect a few friends and make raids across the border into England, to the huge discomfort of the dwellers on the other side. It was to cope with this habit that Corven Abbey, in Shropshire, came into existence. It met a long-felt want. Ministering ...
— The Gem Collector • P. G. Wodehouse

... perceive that the ordinary school interests pale before such lurid appeals as these. How can we expect the child who has stood openmouthed before a poster representing a woman chloroformed by a burglar (while that hero escapes in safety with jewels) to display any interest in the arid monotony of the multiplication table? The illegitimate excitement created by the sight of the depraved burglar can only be counteracted by something equally exciting along the realistic but legitimate side of appeal; and this is where the story of the right kind becomes so valuable, and why the teacher ...
— The Art of the Story-Teller • Marie L. Shedlock

... of tabors, beaten without any attempt at a tune, but with unremitting monotony, then the baying of many hounds more distant. There was a bustle. Many Sheikhs slowly rose; their followers rushed about; some looked at their musket locks, some poised their pikes and spears, some unsheathed ...
— Tancred - Or, The New Crusade • Benjamin Disraeli

... half-hour of social intercourse. At Hyde Lodge Charlotte had a great deal more of Lingard and condensed and expurgated Gibbon than was quite agreeable; she had to get up at a preternatural hour in the morning and to devote herself to "studies of velocity," whose monotony became wearing as the drip, drip, drip of water on the skull of the tortured criminal. She was very tired of all the Hyde-Lodge lessons and accomplishments, the irregular French verbs—the "braires" and "traires" which were so difficult to remember, and which nobody ever could want ...
— Birds of Prey • M. E. Braddon

... Nicholas varies the Monotony of Dothebys Hall by a most vigorous and remarkable proceeding, which leads to Consequences ...
— The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby • Charles Dickens

... too, in the monotony of sunshine and shade, of glade and dell, of crystal streams and tiny valleys, each the counterpart of the other, in dense woods and grassy savannahs; in the yesterday so like to-day, and the to-day so like ...
— Prisoners of Hope - A Tale of Colonial Virginia • Mary Johnston

... connection it is worth while to observe that even the slang phrases of the day, which are popular, partly because they save trouble in thinking, and partly because the vulgar mind, like the vulgar ear, finds a relief or pleasure in monotony—are not unfrequently of ancient origin. The current expression, 'a high old time,' occurs in a Latin jest, given in an old German-Latin jest-book, which, as its preface asserts, consists entirely of a reprint from still older works. ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 3 No 2, February 1863 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... Mr. Gray, who was also then postmaster, offered him a position in the Cleveland post-office, which he accepted, and entered upon its duties; but at the end of two months, being dissatisfied with the dull routine and monotony of such an occupation, he threw up his position; and having, on the very day he left the post-office, decided to adopt the legal profession, before night he had secured a position in the law office of Charles Stetson, Esq., then in large and active practice, and ...
— Cleveland Past and Present - Its Representative Men, etc. • Maurice Joblin

... days in the hospital with their routine and monotony, creating an incomprehensible break in his life, his memory retained nothing; but the unchanging grief, weighing like a slab of stone on a grave, was ever present in his soul with inexorable and brutal force during these many months. He only half recalled the strange wonders that ...
— Selected Polish Tales • Various

... of the Atlantic many were the hours whose monotony was unbroken by any phenomenon whatever. The days grew shorter and shorter, and the cold became keen. Uncle Prudent and Phil Evans saw little of Robur. Seated in his cabin, the engineer was busy laying out his course and marking it on ...
— Rubur the Conqueror • Jules Verne

... broad moorland in mellow light. The wide expanse of level turf looked like a sea of black water that had suddenly been frozen into stillness. Not a tree—not a patch of brushwood, or a solitary bush—broke the monotony of the scene: but far away against the moonlit horizon rose a wild and craggy steep, and on the summit of that steep appeared a massive tower, with black and ruined battlements, that stood out grimly against ...
— Run to Earth - A Novel • M. E. Braddon

... day was particularly fine, and their way was amid some bits of charming scenery. After going out into the country some five or six miles, the horse's head was turned, and they took their way homeward. Wishing to avoid the Monotony of a drive along the same road the young man struck across the country in order to reach another avenue leading into the city, but missed his way and bewildered in a maze of winding country roads. While descending a steep hill, in a very secluded place, a wheel came off, and ...
— After a Shadow, and Other Stories • T. S. Arthur

... finished I had to go at the frame of the cradle with a pair of jack-screws and raise it, by fractions of an inch, until I could get my rollers under it one at a time. I think that it was the deadly dullness of this jack-screw work that I most resented—the stupid monotony of doing precisely the same sort of utterly wearying work all day long and for day after day. But in the end I got it finished: all my rollers properly in place, and the cradle made fast to hold it from starting ...
— In the Sargasso Sea - A Novel • Thomas A. Janvier

... is by no means unique. Every city has its dance hall problem; every small town its girl and boy problem; every country-side its tragedy of the girl who, for relief from monotony, goes to ...
— What eight million women want • Rheta Childe Dorr

... of this and similar idioms in modern writing occasions unnecessary embarrassment for the writer, both in narration and argumenting, and contributes to the monotony of ...
— The Literary Remains Of Samuel Taylor Coleridge • Edited By Henry Nelson Coleridge

... along all the roads. Far over to the left lay the little hill of Kranoye Selo, the parade-ground of the Imperial Guards' summer camp, and the Imperial Dairy. In the middle distance nothing broke the flat monotony but a few walled monasteries and convents, some isolated factories, and several large buildings with unkempt grounds that ...
— Ten Days That Shook the World • John Reed

... our station being between the Island of Prudence and the mainland. A glance at the map will show the number of islands in that fine estuary, which terminates in Providence Bay. On one of them, called the Island of Hope, near which the ship was generally at anchor, to vary the monotony of a sea life we employed ourselves in the cultivation of gardens. Our horticultural knowledge was not very extensive, but we managed during our stay to raise various crops of quick-growing esculents, and on our departure we disposed of our property to our respective brother-officers ...
— Hurricane Hurry • W.H.G. Kingston

... situation he was soothed to drowsiness by the hum of insects, and the monotony of passing winds among the foliage around him, when he soon unwarily fell asleep with his gun folded in his arms. But after a while he awoke from his sleep, and for a moment or two still lay in the same position, as it happened, ...
— A Sketch of the History of Oneonta • Dudley M. Campbell

... runaway sailors, and ne'er-do-wells who get sick of shepherding and take to the bush; but the great proportion are convicts. It is not to be wondered at, when you look at the life many of these men have led at home, and the monotony and hardship of their lives in many of the up-country stations, allotted to men as ignorant, and sometimes almost as ...
— A Final Reckoning - A Tale of Bush Life in Australia • G. A. Henty

... walked up and down with his eyes on the ground, Mrs Brown, in the chair from which she had risen to receive him, sat listening anew. The monotony of his step, or the uncertainty of age, made her so slow of hearing, that a footfall without had sounded in her daughter's ears for some moments, and she had looked up hastily to warn her mother ...
— Dombey and Son • Charles Dickens

... and the numerous bills which are wafered up in the windows of private houses, intimating that there are beds to let within, give the streets a very animated and cheerful appearance, the wafers being of a great variety of colours, and the monotony of printed inscriptions being relieved by every possible size and style of hand-writing. It is confidently rumoured that Professors Snore, Doze, and Wheezy have engaged three beds and a sitting-room at the Pig and Tinder-box. I give you the rumour as it has reached ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... The monotony of George Stephenson's occupation as a brakesman was somewhat varied by the change which he made, in his turn, from the day to the night shift. His duty, on the latter occasions, consisted chiefly in sending men and materials into the mine, ...
— Lives of the Engineers - The Locomotive. George and Robert Stephenson • Samuel Smiles

... according to appointment at the old camp. Other hunters also now came into the Kentucky wilderness, and Boon joined a small party of them for a short time. Such a party of hunters is always glad to have any thing wherewith to break the irksome monotony of the long evenings passed round the camp fire; and a book or a greasy pack of cards was as welcome in a camp of Kentucky riflemen in 1770 as it is to a party of Rocky Mountain hunters in 1888. ...
— The Winning of the West, Volume One - From the Alleghanies to the Mississippi, 1769-1776 • Theodore Roosevelt

... held heat like sweat boxes. The high metal walls of the dock caught the sun's rays and threw out a furnace heat. The men endured it in net undershirts clinging to dripping bodies; their eyes ached against the glare, their stomachs rebelled, their brains sickened with monotony ...
— The Cruise of the Dry Dock • T. S. Stribling

... intentionally avoided all needless comparisons of his works with those of other writers of his time, some of whom have gone before him to their rest, while others survive to gladden the darkness and relieve the monotony of our daily life. But in the power of his imagination—of this I am convinced—he surpassed them, one and all. That imagination could call up at will those associations which, could we but summon them in their full number, ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

... the present day has compared the literature of Rome to its great Viae. One idea, he remarks, possessed its poets, orators, and historians—the supremacy of the City on the Seven Hills; and Lucan, Virgil, Livy, and Tacitus, various as were their idiosyncrasies, still present a formal monotony, which is not found to the same degree in any other literature. This censure is, perhaps, as regards the literature of the Roman people, rather overstated; but it applies literally to their roads, aqueducts, and tunnels. The State was the be-all and the end-all of social life: the wishes, ...
— Old Roads and New Roads • William Bodham Donne

... the ignorance and inexperience of girlhood had planned out glowing descriptions of the brilliant offers of marriage I would have, and the delightful times before me. I listened and laughed at them, yet had chafed at the quiet monotony of my cousin's home, and had longed for a break to come in the dull routine of ...
— Dwell Deep - or Hilda Thorn's Life Story • Amy Le Feuvre

... Leon and Old Castile are bald and dreary, they are studded with old cities renowned in history and rich in relics of the past. But there is no redeeming feature in the Manchegan landscape; it has all the sameness of the desert without its dignity; the few towns and villages that break its monotony are mean and commonplace, there is nothing venerable about them, they have not even the picturesqueness of poverty; indeed, Don Quixote's own village, Argamasilla, has a sort of oppressive respectability in the prim regularity of its streets and houses; everything is ignoble; ...
— Don Quixote • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... or in sets it can be covered with different patterns in cretonne or chintz, which not only protects the furniture but breaks up the monotony and lends a pleasing variety to the room. A Turkish chair is a grand accessory to the family room. This may be made by buying the frame and having it upholstered in white cotton cloth and covering it with a rich shade of cretonne, finishing it ...
— The Ladies Book of Useful Information - Compiled from many sources • Anonymous

... in the same apartment, notwithstanding the eleven rooms and so on, a monotony of existence pervades even the grandeur of velvet-panelled walls. There are the inevitable three meals a day to be gone through with—five meals if tea and a supper party are counted. There are the same ever-rising questions as to the cook's honesty and the ...
— The Gorgeous Girl • Nalbro Bartley

... substitute she had; they were dearly prized by her, and, to say truth, by him. He had no family, he lived alone; and the visits of his docile and intelligent little pupil became very pleasant breaks in the monotony of his home life. Truly kind-hearted and benevolent, and a true lover of knowledge, he delighted to impart it. Ellen soon found she might ask him as many questions as she pleased, that were at all proper to the subject they were upon; and he, ...
— The Wide, Wide World • Elizabeth Wetherell

... that perpetual and universal coercion, moral and physical, would have brought about a state of universal sameness,—a dismal uniformity and monotony in all life's manifestations. But such monotony existed only as to the life of the commune, not as to that of the race. The most wonderful variety characterized this quaint civilization, as it also characterized the old Greek civilization, and ...
— Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation • Lafcadio Hearn

... peopled with the children of many races, and all the blended panorama seen in the magic light of imagination. So, too, the poetic character of the Indian legend is preserved with conscientious care and fit monotony of rippling music in Hiawatha. But this is an accident and an incident. It is not the theme which determines the poet. All Scotland, indeed, sings and glows in the verse of Burns, but very little of England is seen or heard in ...
— Literary and Social Essays • George William Curtis

... the north by a widespread pond. A narrow road runs across the plain; but the line of green grass bordering the "wheel-track" upon either side, shows that though the nearest, this road is not the most frequented way to the pond. Many reasons might be assigned for this. There is a wearisome monotony in the scenery along this plain. There are no hills, and but few trees to diversify the almost interminable prospect, stretching east, west, north, and south, like a broad ocean, without wave or ripple. The few trees scattered here and there ...
— Be Courteous • Mrs. M. H. Maxwell

... and the faded, pitiless sky. Nothing to do; nothing for the hands, the mind, the heart. To wait for hours and hours for the night! The sea empty for days! You forgot the monotony, the endless monotony, that bends you and breaks you ...
— The Ragged Edge • Harold MacGrath

... this stay in harbour that I first saw the young princess who was later to become the Princess de Joinville, the devoted companion of my whole life. During this stay, too, I made an expedition to Minas, the gold mine country, a long journey on mule-back, through the magnificent monotony of the virgin forest. One of the mines I went to see, called Gongo-Soco, was worked by the labour of four hundred slaves, and owned by an English company who made an enormous profit out of it. I went down it, and, under the guidance ...
— Memoirs • Prince De Joinville

... was fully determined. So soon as this mystery should be solved—and he fancied a solution was no longer impossible—he would leave the place, resign the position which had become tedious, unbearably tedious in its cramped monotony, and seek some other place, in England or abroad, where he might have leisure to pursue those studies in research which had been so ruthlessly cut short by his ...
— Afterwards • Kathlyn Rhodes

... corner of the pew, no one ever knew; that she listened, or attempted to listen, to what was going on, was doubtful in the extreme. But still, as a rule, church had a soothing effect on her, the quiet and restfulness, the monotony itself, seemed to calm her fidgety querulousness; possibly even the sensation of her Sunday clothes and the admiring glances of the little school-children helped to smooth her down ...
— Hoodie • Mary Louisa Stewart Molesworth

... a brief interruption this day to the monotony of the journey. Mulrady, who was in front of the others, rode hastily back to report the approach of a troop of Indians. The news was received with very different feelings by Glenarvan and Thalcave. The Scotchman was glad of the chance of gleaning some information ...
— In Search of the Castaways • Jules Verne

... he says, 'that a slight flavour of monotony occasionally assails the honeymoon. Variety is the salt of life, I begin to think. Some of these fine days, Maddie, we'll both get ...
— Robbery Under Arms • Thomas Alexander Browne, AKA Rolf Boldrewood

... however powerfully treated, without feeling some need of relief. In the same way a soliloquy (comp. the great soliloquies of Shakespeare) cannot be protracted to any great length without wearying the listener. The thoughts of a man in self-communion are apt to run in a certain circle, and to assume a monotony. The introduction of a second person acting powerfully upon the speaker throughout, draws the latter forth into a more complete and varied expression of his mind. The silent person in the background, who may be ...
— Introduction to Robert Browning • Hiram Corson

... and this evening all she saw was the flooded pastures, which meant poor grazing for her tegs due to come down from the Coast, and her lambs new-born on the Kent Innings. As for Ellen, the Marsh had always stood with her for unrelieved boredom. Its eternal flatness—the monotony of its roads winding through an unvarying landscape of reeds and dykes and grazings, past farms each of which was almost exactly like the one before it, with red walls and orange roofs and a bush ...
— Joanna Godden • Sheila Kaye-Smith

... that monotony and discomfort are the cause of nervous and mental breakdown, witness the often-mentioned insanity among farmers' wives and the nervous breakdowns attributable to pain and strain, even though it be, as in many cases of eyestrain, so slight as ...
— The Philippines: Past and Present (vol. 1 of 2) • Dean C. Worcester

... bright chimney: old scenes, old scenes, with the gay poet moving blithely among them. Madame had heard the vicomte's insults, but now there was nothing to explain to her. What should he do with his useless life? There was no future; everything beyond was dark with monotony. It was a cruel revenge madame had taken, but she had asked his forgiveness, and he had forgiven. Would she return to France in the spring? Would she become a nun? Would his father live or die, and would he send for him? The winter wind sang in the chimney and the windows shuddered. He looked ...
— The Grey Cloak • Harold MacGrath

... Lanslebourg he followed the ascent of Mont Cenis for ten kilometres before he reached the summit of the pass. Within three kilometres he struck the snow-line, and the falling snow continued to the summit. Here he found two douaniers and two gendarmes, who appeared glad enough to have the monotony of their lonely vigil relieved by the advent of an automobile, quite unlooked for at ...
— The Automobilist Abroad • M. F. (Milburg Francisco) Mansfield

... emanated then, and dazzles now In face of all his foes, the Cruscan quire, And Boileau, whose rash envy could allow No strain which shamed his country's creaking lyre, That whetstone of the teeth—monotony ...
— Childe Harold's Pilgrimage • Lord Byron

... my life, how long could I survive against my own pursuit? A summons, a bogus appointment, and all would be over. It is well they don't have days of fog in the Latin countries—the countries of assassination. By Jove! here comes something at last to break our dead monotony." ...
— The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans • Arthur Conan Doyle

... happy and at peace; it nursed and fed and soothed his deepest moods. Trees influenced the sources of his life, lowered or raised the very heart-beat in him. Cut off from them he languished as a lover of the sea can droop inland, or a mountaineer may pine in the flat monotony of the plains. ...
— The Man Whom the Trees Loved • Algernon Blackwood

... continued to occupy one end in an immovable manner, but at the other there was no monotony. Man after man came in, padded and gloved, and looking capable of mighty things. They took guard, patted the ground lustily, as if to make it plain that they were going to stand no nonsense, settled their caps over their eyes, and prepared to receive ...
— The Head of Kay's • P. G. Wodehouse

... of examination. In my contacts with the species I find no one who possesses a quality which I do not possess. The shades of difference between other people and me serve to make variety and prevent monotony, but that is all; broadly speaking, we are all alike; and so by studying myself carefully and comparing myself with other people, and noting the divergences, I have been enabled to acquire a knowledge of the human race ...
— Chapters from My Autobiography • Mark Twain

... stretch of common land where the misty moonlight seemed to turn the landscape into a dream world, silent and empty save for the sound of the grinding wheels and the steady beating of the horses' hoofs. The long monotony of the sound became a lullaby to the girl, tired in body and mind. Last night, and the night before, she had slept little; now, with a sense of security, she closed her eyes, only that she might think the more ...
— The Brown Mask • Percy J. Brebner

... questions about my mother and my sister, and innocently wondered whether I should ever leave my lonely chambers and have a wife and a house of my own? Wind and wave had long since smoothed out the trace of her which she had left in those marks on the sand, I looked over the wide monotony of the sea-side prospect, and the place in which we two had idled away the sunny hours was as lost to me as if I had never known it, as strange to me as if I stood already on a ...
— The Woman in White • Wilkie Collins

... unexplored forest. But there at the bank it was just doing the same thing over and over again: what he had done last week he would do again this week: what had happened last year would happen again this year. It was all pure, unadulterated, dismal monotony. ...
— The Chestermarke Instinct • J. S. Fletcher

... several sets of questions for every day in the week, differing in length, to prevent monotony, and to accommodate those occasions when you have more or ...
— A Practical Directory for Young Christian Females - Being a Series of Letters from a Brother to a Younger Sister • Harvey Newcomb

... which roused us up, and broke the monotony of our life; but it was one which was not very agreeable to dwell upon, and yet, at the same time, I felt rather pleasure than annoyance at it—I felt that I was of more consequence, and many other thoughts entered my mind which I shall not now dwell upon. We buried them in the guano, under ...
— The Little Savage • Captain Marryat

... sacred to nursery-maids and their charges, and a few loungers, couldn't be opened up with one or two good rides right across, and a few intersecting bridle-paths, after the fashion of the Bois de Boulogne, and thus relieve the monotony of the Row, which is getting more and more Rotten after every shower, and more and ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 101. July 4, 1891 • Various

... story of human life; the nobility, the meanness, the pathos of it in hopelessly commonplace surroundings, where the fight is not a hand-to-hand struggle with bitter poverty or crime, but with dullness and monotony. The characters in 'All Sorts and Conditions of Men' are possibly more typical than real, but one hesitates to question either characters or situation. The "impossible story" has become true, and the vision that the enthusiastic young hero and heroine dream ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 4 • Charles Dudley Warner

... established prejudice in England—that mustaches were unseemly? To nine faces out of ten, they are a most becoming addition, increasing physiognomical character, almost giving it where there is none; relieving the monotony of broad flat cheeks, and abridging the abomination of a long upper-lip. Uncleanly, say you? Not a bit of it, if judiciously trimmed and trained. What, Sir! are they not at least as proper looking as ...
— Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 365, March, 1846 • Various

... leave our smiles at the door, compose our face and manner to dolefulness, and talk of anything heartrending. Thus we carry darkness to those in darkness, shade to those in shade. We increase the isolation of solitary lives and the monotony of the dull and sad. We wall up some existences as it were in dungeons; and because the grass grows round their deserted prison-house, we speak low in approaching it, as though it were a tomb. Who suspects the work of infernal cruelty which is thus accomplished every day in the world! ...
— The Simple Life • Charles Wagner

... which he responded before he was aware of doing so. The spacious solitude of the summer night brought with it a large calmness of outlook, in which his spirit took a measure of comfort. There was a certain bodily pleasure, too, in the regular monotony of paddling, while his mental faculties were kept alert by the necessity of finding points by which to steer, and fixing his attention upon them. So, by degrees, his limited reasoning powers found themselves at work, fumbling, with the helplessness of a man whose strong points are physical ...
— The Wild Olive • Basil King

... the Knight began to weary of the monotony of his existence, and to sigh for fresh adventures and more excitement. The Squire, too, wished for change, and was not altogether pleased with the buffet he regularly got every evening at ...
— The Seven Champions of Christendom • W. H. G. Kingston

... immeasurable steppes of Asia, has not inaptly been termed "the great American desert." It spreads forth into undulating and treeless plains, and desolate sandy wastes wearisome to the eye from their extent and monotony, and which are supposed by geologists to have formed the ancient floor of the ocean, countless ages since, when its primeval waves beat against the granite bases ...
— Astoria - Or, Anecdotes Of An Enterprise Beyond The Rocky Mountains • Washington Irving

... solid hour, thirty weary but enthusiastic reprobates laboured without ceasing, and by the time the bell rang all was prepared. The floor was one still, silent pool. Two caps and a few notebooks floated sluggishly on the surface, relieving the picture of any tendency to monotony. The form crept silently to their places along the desks. As Mr Smith's footsteps were heard approaching, they began to beat vigorously upon the desks, with the result that Mr Smith, quickening his pace, dashed into the form-room at a hard gallop. The immediate results were absolutely satisfactory, ...
— A Prefect's Uncle • P. G. Wodehouse

... would recur frequently. Long lists of varieties are called alba, or inermis, or canescens or lutea, and many genera contain the same appellations. In some instances the systematists use a diversity of names to convey exactly the same idea, as if to conceal the monotony of the character, as for instance in the case of the lack of hairs, which is expressed by the varietal names of Papaver dubium glabrum, Arabis ciliata glabrata, Arabis hirsuta glaberrima, Veronica spicata nitens, Amygdalus persica laevis, ...
— Species and Varieties, Their Origin by Mutation • Hugo DeVries

... and (2) certain figures clothed in vestments but little used at that time, whereby the minds of other artists were awakened and began to depart from that sameness which should rather be called obsolete monotony than ...
— Six Centuries of Painting • Randall Davies

... from an old habit of associating the spirit of change and rapid revolution with the activities of Europe; so that, by a natural reaction of thought, the Orient is figured as the home of motionless monotony. In things religious, in habits, in costume, it is so. But so far otherwise in things political, that no instance can be alleged of any dynasty or system of government that has endured beyond a century or two in the East. ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... turns from the miserable monotony of the political selfishness, which fought its battles in the senate-house and in the streets of the capital, to matters of greater importance than the question whether the first monarch of Rome should be called Gnaeus, Gaius, or Marcus, we may well be allowed—on ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... was most attentive to his wards. In my strolls about the country I frequently encountered them—sometimes in company with other guests of the hotel—exploring the gulches, fishing, rifle shooting, and otherwise wiling away the monotony of country life; and although I watched them as closely as good manners would permit I saw nothing that would in any way explain the strange words that I had overheard in the wood. I had grown tolerably well acquainted with the ...
— The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, Vol. II: In the Midst of Life: Tales of Soldiers and Civilians • Ambrose Bierce

... novel feature to her book by investing it with a fictitious history and origin, which, like most inventions of the kind, is scarcely consistent with the circumstances, however it may tend to enliven the monotony ...
— Old Cookery Books and Ancient Cuisine • William Carew Hazlitt

... relief; and in proportion to intellectual refinement, this monotony appears to increase. We have always been favourable to Book Clubs in country towns, and about ten years since, established one in the anti-social town of ——. The plan worked well; its economy was admired, and extensively adopted all over England, but we heard little of ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction. - Volume XIII, No. 376, Saturday, June 20, 1829. • Various

... in indulging in the privilege thus restored to them, and which was one of their most ancient pastimes and occupations; for it must be remembered that, in those days of small intellectual culture, hunting must have been a great, if not at times the only, resource against idleness and the monotony of country life. ...
— Manners, Custom and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period • Paul Lacroix

... put their heads together to devise some method of breaking the deadly monotony of the desert days, and bringing added enjoyment to their ...
— Tabitha's Vacation • Ruth Alberta Brown

... astonished (1) at the schoolboy, wretched, allegoric machinery; (2) at the transmogrification of the fanatic Virago into a modern novel-pawing proselyte of the Age of Reason—a Tom Paine in petticoats; (3) at the utter want of all rhythm in the verse, the monotony and dead plumb-down of the pauses, and at the absence of all bone, muscle, and ...
— English Men of Letters: Coleridge • H. D. Traill

... which and the Cave of the Smell his existence alternated with the monotony of a pendulum—was situated midway on the block on the north side of the street. It boasted a front yard fenced off from the sidewalk with a rusty railing: a plot of arid earth scantily tufted with grass, suggesting that stage of baldness which ...
— The Day of Days - An Extravaganza • Louis Joseph Vance

... perchance, torture if not massacre; to avert which many of the free blacks, as well as some of the slaves, gave an apparent acquiescence to the fervor of their lesser informed comrades, who regarded any remove from the monotony of plantation ...
— The Black Phalanx - African American soldiers in the War of Independence, the - War of 1812, and the Civil War • Joseph T. Wilson

... the general opinion of the guests gathered together at Blandings Castle that the place was dull. The house party had that air of torpor which one sees in the saloon passengers of an Atlantic liner—that appearance of resignation to an enforced idleness and a monotony to be broken only by meals. Lord Emsworth's guests gave the impression, collectively, of being just about to yawn and look at ...
— Something New • Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

... the surface of the water. "Sisters," she called, "sisters, listen to me," and she swam towards the shade of the rock, and seated herself on a stony seat, half in half out of the water. "I can bear the monotony of our existence no longer. I tire of this life of ceaseless dancing, swimming, drifting. I want to visit the homes of men who live in the village that lies below us at the foot of the mountain, to hear stories ...
— Fairy Tales from the German Forests • Margaret Arndt

... champagne in unlimited quantities. But what else could they do? Everything is naphtha here, everything smells of naphtha, the steamers, the railway engines are run with naphtha. The streets are greasy with naphtha. Occasionally—frequently of late—the monotony of the place is broken by fires of gigantic proportions on the premises of over-insured well-owners. The destruction to property on such occasions is immense, the fires spreading with incalculable rapidity over an enormous ...
— Across Coveted Lands - or a Journey from Flushing (Holland) to Calcutta Overland • Arnold Henry Savage Landor

... in those times. Fancy a fine gentleman, able to pay his shilling and sit with the wits upon the rush-strewn stage, listening for such a length of time to "Hamlet," with no change of scenes to help the illusion or break the monotony, beyond a curtain or two hung across the stage, a wooden gallery at the back whence the court of Denmark might view "The Mouse-Trap," and, perhaps, a wooden tomb pushed on or "discovered" in the graveyard-scene ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 10, Number 59, September, 1862 • Various

... the Queen had their own hobbies. The monotony of voyaging through hyper-space had long ago impressed upon men the need for occupying both hands and mind during the sterile days while they were forced into close companionship with few duties to keep ...
— Plague Ship • Andre Norton

... Their spirits were affected too much to permit any excess of words. But they came finally to rougher, much more broken country, and they saw a line of trees on the crest of hills just under the sunset horizon. The sight, the break in the monotony, the cheerful trees made them lift up their ...
— The Last of the Chiefs - A Story of the Great Sioux War • Joseph Altsheler

... before now endeavoured to while away their long hours of captivity by watching spiders making their webs. I can understand this. In the dreary monotony of this dreariest of sieges a spider would be an event. But alas, the spider is outside, and we are the flies caught in his toils. Never did time hang so heavily on human beings as it hangs on us. Every day seems to have twice the ...
— Diary of the Besieged Resident in Paris • Henry Labouchere

... from the other houses on the block, which were all built on the same plan, of exactly the same height, of exactly the same width, and with absolute similarity of detail. Frederick had observed such architectural monotony only in workingmen's houses in Germany, while here it was the mark ...
— Atlantis • Gerhart Hauptmann

... and ascending the highest branch, he spent some moments gazing around, in the hope of detecting a friendly light in the surrounding gloom, but without success; not a gleam was visible, and not a sound, save the rumbling of the thunder and the heavy pattering of the rain, broke the solemn monotony of the storm. Disappointed and nearly disheartened, he communicated to his master below the ungrateful intelligence that nothing was perceptible; but preparatory to his descent, he gave a loud "cooey," in the faint hope that it might attract the attention of some human being. As we ...
— Fern Vale (Volume 1) - or the Queensland Squatter • Colin Munro

... and squares which now rank as a fashionable centre with the neighbourhood of Grosvenor Square. The houses are mainly uniform in type—square, substantial, plaster-fronted structures, which give an aspect of monotony to ...
— Mayfair, Belgravia, and Bayswater - The Fascination of London • Geraldine Edith Mitton

... is why the common rabble of nature are so malicious and envious toward us. Their slim wretched fashion is next door to the slimy eel: there is nothing edifying in such an edifice. From that piece of monotony to the prawn is already a good step; and how far above that is the seal! how do we surpass them both, as well as the seastar, the crab, and the lobster, my trustiest cousin, in our excursive irregularities, which defy all the ...
— The Old Man of the Mountain, The Lovecharm and Pietro of Abano - Tales from the German of Tieck • Ludwig Tieck

... out of it all, lonely. These people were nothing to me, I said to myself. They were not my kind. I had a sudden homesickness for the quiet monotony of my life before I married Dicky. I thought of the few social evenings I had spent in the days before I met Dicky, little dinners with the principals and teachers I had known, when I had been the centre ...
— Revelations of a Wife - The Story of a Honeymoon • Adele Garrison

... away," she said; "I would be anything on earth if I could get away from this—I would not mind what; I would work, teaching, anything; the dull monotony of this ...
— A Mad Love • Bertha M. Clay

... himself was fond of birds, else the objections of his wife would soon have robbed the little fellow of his last remaining comfort. It was for the keeper a little source of amusement, an interruption in the dreadful monotony of his life. The birds were allowed to stay therefore, and their singing and twittering animated a little the dark, silent rooms, and reminded him of the spring, the fresh ...
— Marie Antoinette And Her Son • Louise Muhlbach

... Aynesworth equally certain that the time would come, and come quickly, when the unnatural hardness of the man would yield to the genial influence of friendship, of pleasure, of the subtle joys of freedom. Those past days of hideous monotony, of profitless, debasing toil, the long, sleepless nights, the very nightmare of life to a man of Wingrave's culture and habits, might well have poisoned his soul, have filled him with ideas such ...
— The Malefactor • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... resided nearly two years in the country and paid much attention to its natural history. He says: "The peculiar characteristics of these vast level plains which descend from the Andes to the great river basin in unbroken monotony, are the absence of rivers or water-storage, and the periodical occurrence of droughts, or 'siccos,' in the summer months. These conditions determine the singular character both of its ...
— Darwinism (1889) • Alfred Russel Wallace

... weather, continuous rest, continuous travel, continuous anything spells monotony. ...
— Evening Round Up - More Good Stuff Like Pep • William Crosbie Hunter

... fully by the workers at Ravenna and Rome, than in Venice. Architectural schemes were introduced to break up the surface: clouds and backgrounds, fields of flowers, and trees, and such devices, were used to prevent the monotony of the unbroken glint. But in Venice the decorators were brave; their faith in their material was unbounded, and they not only frankly laid gold in enormous masses on flat wall and cupola, but they even moulded ...
— Arts and Crafts in the Middle Ages • Julia De Wolf Addison

... has endeavoured to enliven the monotony of his subject, are sometimes very far-fetched. He has scarcely finished his exordium, when he goes back to the third day of the creation, and then passes on to the deluge. This reminds one of the Mock Advocate in the Plaideurs of ...
— Lives of the English Poets - From Johnson to Kirke White, Designed as a Continuation of - Johnson's Lives • Henry Francis Cary

... they were then hoping to return, and the desire for a wider sphere of action. Both she and her husband managed to keep in touch with world in a wonderful way, and did not let themselves drop out of sight or out of mind. One of the reliefs to the monotony of their existence was that, whenever an English ship came into port with a captain whom they knew, they would dine on board and have the delight of seeing English people, and they generally invited the captain and officers and the best passengers back again. The Burtons ...
— The Romance of Isabel Lady Burton Volume II • Isabel Lady Burton & W. H. Wilkins

... about the factory and the machines, had their fling against their foreman, conversed and thought only of matters closely and manifestly connected with their work. Only rarely, and then but faintly, did solitary sparks of impotent thought glimmer in the wearisome monotony of their talk. Returning home they quarreled with their wives, and often beat them, unsparing of their fists. The young people sat in the taverns, or enjoyed evening parties at one another's houses, played the accordion, sang vulgar songs devoid of beauty, ...
— Mother • Maxim Gorky

... under its travail. Now and then the wind that drove the snow rose to a gusty whisper, and a stark limb scraped the eaves of the house with grating, lifeless fingers. But between the occasional stress-cries of the storm, there came the low, dirge-like monotony of the sifting snowfall. And as always in old houses there were the little voices and the minute nameless stirrings of the night. The ghost-moan of drafty chimneys and the creak of warped timbers became audible ...
— Destiny • Charles Neville Buck

... is, that I deem it both an obligation and a duty which I owe to the Emperor to relate every event which may serve to make his true character better known, and which has been omitted, whether involuntarily or by design, by those who have written his life. I care little if I am accused of monotony on this subject, or of writing only a panegyric; but, if this should be done, I would reply: So much the worse for him who grows weary of the recital of good deeds! I have undertaken to tell the truth concerning the Emperor, be it good or bad; and every reader who expects to find in my ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... organic creations. There are certainly extensive desert ranges, chiefly limestone formations, where the surface is either white, or has weathered down to a dull uniformity of tone which can hardly be called color at all; and there are sand plains and drifting hills of wearisome monotony of tint. But the chemistry of the air, though it may tame the glitter of the limestone to a dusky gray, brings out the green and brown and purple of the igneous rocks, and the white and red and blue and violet ...
— The Earth as Modified by Human Action • George P. Marsh

... opposite view, and it is impossible not to admire the delicacy with which he has handled an exceedingly difficult theme. ....Feeling convinced that monogamy is a happier state than polygamy, he would save the married couple from the monotony and satiety which follow possession, by varying their pleasures in every conceivable way and by supplying them with the means of being psychically pure and physically ...
— The Life of Sir Richard Burton • Thomas Wright

... was soon transferred to the hulk, where Frank and Mr. Goodenough took up their residence. The agent in charge was very glad to receive them, as any break in the terrible monotony of such a life is eagerly welcomed. He was a pale, unhealthy looking man, and had just recovered from an unusually bad attack of fever. Like most of the traders on the coast he had an immense faith in the power ...
— By Sheer Pluck - A Tale of the Ashanti War • G. A. Henty



Words linked to "Monotony" :   constancy, sameness, unvariedness, stability, humdrum



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