ingratiatingly intoned

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Senior Member
Mandarin / the Shanghai Dialect

“The will of the majority is in all cases to prevail,” Jefferson declared. But, he added, “that will to be rightful must be reasonable; the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.” Seeking to allay Federalist fears of a bull-in-the-china-closet overturn, Jefferson ingratiatingly intoned, “We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists.’’

The American Pageant by Thomas A. Bailey

How can I interpret “intoned”? Was Jefferson supposed to speak changing his pitches a lot to sound ingratiating?

intone: speak or recite in a singing voice or with a particular tone, esp. with a slow, even tone with little change in pitch:
intone - Dictionary of English
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It just means that he said it in an ingratiating (somewhat sycophantic) tone, seeking to reassure, by allaying fears (as the text explains). He wasn’t intoning it in the sense meant by that definition, or at least, not to that extent.
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