Difference between Boredom and Monotony

Key Difference: Boredom and monotony both applies disinterest of work. Boredom is the subjective state, when a person is not interested because of regular revelation or treatment. On the other hand, monotony is a state when a person is bored of doing repetitive work or activity.

Boredom and monotony are often overlapping terms. People get confused with both the terms. No doubt, they are widely recognized as undesirable side effects of repetitious work. In this article, let us understand the difference between both the terms boredom and monotony.

Boredom is a state when a person is not at all in a mood of doing any activity. The idiom ‘boredom’ was first expressed in 1852, in the novel 'Bleak House' by Charles Dickens. The term was mainly derived from the French word ‘ennui'.

Boredom is an emotional state when a person has control on his thinking, but his mind does not allow his body to respond. This state of boredom is like an emotional oxymoron. The type of endless boredom happens more to men and people with brain injuries and certain psychotic disorders. For drug addicts, fighting boredom can predict their success in kicking their habit as well.

According to Dictionary.com, ‘Monotony’ is:

  • Wearisome uniformity or lack of variety, as in occupation or scenery.
  • The continuance of an unvarying sound; monotone.
  • Sameness of tone or pitch, as in speaking.

Monotony simply means repetitiveness. A person feels bored by doing or applying the same activity again and again. Monotonous was derived from the Latin word ‘monotonia’, meaning ‘sameness of tone’.  For example: If the particular music is being played for the longer period of time, then one will get bored because of monotony. It automatically creates a lack of interest. A person in their life anyhow needs variety. As it gives a reason to live and learn something new. Monotony is an unpleasant, undesirable affective state. The word was first expressed in the year 1700.

One should have a capacity to beat his monotony and live life to the fullest. It is not such a difficult task that one cannot overcome monotony.

Comparison between Boredom and Monotony:





Boredom is an emotional state, when a person is not interested because of regular revelation or treatment.

Monotony is a state when a person is bored of doing repetitive work or activity.



French word ‘ennui’

Latin word ‘monotonia’

Originated in the year




Boredom is sometimes difficult to remove even by changing the nature of job.

Monotony can be removed by changing the nature of the job.


Lack of variety

Lack of variation


  • Blahs
  • Doldrums
  • Ennui
  • Listlessness
  • Restlessness
  • Tedium
  • Weariness
  • Tedium
  • Sameness
  • Continuance
  • Continuity
  • Flatness
  • Identicalness
  • Repetitiveness


  • Find Something to Do
  • Play a game
  • Write a list on any subject
  • Listen to your favorite music and/or dance
  • Write a letter, story, poem, or anything of your interest
  • Get a part-time job if you are free for longer period of time
  • Learn something new in your life
  • Take a long drive
  • Avoid day-dreaming
  • Try learning something new things or taking on a new hobby.
  • Keep your eyes open
  • Be responsive to people and try to like them rather than to dislike them.
  • Become interested – a passion for anything you do makes a difference like your job, hobby, or any other activity.


  • My question is why do people drink in excess due to loneliness and boredom?
  • On days when few customers came to shop, John felt overwhelmed by boredom.
  • The boredom of a long car trip made him sleep.
  • Time and monotony play ticks on human beings.
  • It was the perfect escape from the monotony of his work and the pain in his personal life.
  • They searched for ways to break the monotony.

Image Courtesy: midliferocksblog.com, izquotes.com

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