monologue

noun
mono·​logue | \ ˈmä-nə-ˌlȯg How to pronounce monologue (audio) , -ˌläg \
variants: or less commonly monolog

Definition of monologue

1a : soliloquy sense 2 the monologue at the beginning of the scene
b : a dramatic sketch performed by one actor
c : the routine of a stand-up comic The comedian's monologue about his family was hilarious.
2 : a literary composition written in the form of a soliloquy Her poems were monologues about unrequited love.
3 : a long speech monopolizing conversation I stifled a yawn as she continued her monologue about her vacation experiences.

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Other Words from monologue

monologuist \ ˈmä-​nə-​ˌlȯ-​gist How to pronounce monologuist (audio) , -​ˌlä-​ \ or monologist \ ˈmä-​nə-​ˌlȯ-​gist How to pronounce monologist (audio) , -​ˌlä-​ , mə-​ˈnä-​lə-​jist , -​gist \ noun

Soliloquy vs. Monologue

Soliloquy and monologue cover very similar ground, but there are some important differences between the two words. Soliloquy (from the Latin solus “alone” and loqui “to speak”) at its most basic level refers to the act of talking to oneself, and more specifically denotes the solo utterance of an actor in a drama. It tends to be used of formal or literary expressions, such as Hamlet’s soliloquies. Monologue (from Greek monos "alone" and legein "to speak") may also refer to a dramatic scene in which an actor soliloquizes, but it has other meanings as well. To a stand-up comedian, monologue denotes a comic routine. To a bored listener, it signifies a long speech uttered by someone who has too much to say.

Examples of monologue in a Sentence

The play begins with the main character's monologue. The comedian is famous for his monologue about winning the lottery. I stifled a yawn as she launched into a monologue about how she is going to become a famous star.
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Recent Examples on the Web Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park has commissioned 10 local playwrights to write monologues on the theme of hope, posted online. Polly Campbell, Cincinnati.com, "Effect of pandemic on local arts will be felt long after restrictions are lifted," 23 Apr. 2020 One evening in late March, the state of Minnesota lurched briefly into the national consciousness: as Rachel Maddow described in her opening monologue on MSNBC, the governor, Tim Walz, had gone into self-quarantine. Arthur Longworth, The New York Review of Books, "Pandemic Journal, April 6–12," 12 Apr. 2020 Irish Repertory Theater is releasing videos of its actors performing songs, poems and monologues on its social media channels. New York Times, "Great Theater, Dance and Classical Music to Tune Into While Stuck at Home," 20 Mar. 2020 Oliver, who is the host of Last Week Tonight, condemned Bloomberg in a roughly seven-minute monologue on Sunday for keeping stop and frisk in place after succeeding Republican Rudy Giuliani. Tim Pearce, Washington Examiner, "'Don't even f---ing think about it': John Oliver tells voters to ditch Bloomberg over stop and frisk," 24 Feb. 2020 Some expressed their appreciation for her monologue on Twitter, but not everyone was a fan. NBC News, "Lilly Singh talks bisexuality and queerness in the Indian community during monologue," 23 Jan. 2020 DeGeneres made light of the alleged divorce chatter during a monologue on her show, People reported at the time. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Inside Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi's Two-Decade Love Story," 5 Jan. 2020 Kumar delivers Jeetu’s monologues on competition and life with passion and charisma. Devarsi Ghosh, Quartz India, "From India’s numerous web originals of 2019, these 10 characters stand out," 26 Dec. 2019 Brian Copeland and Charlie Varon join forces to present new monologues on life in the Age of Trump. Lisa Herendeen, The Mercury News, "S.F. Bay Area calendar: Greek festival, comedy and more," 25 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'monologue.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of monologue

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for monologue

Middle French monologue, from mon- + -logue

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Time Traveler for monologue

Time Traveler

The first known use of monologue was in 1549

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Statistics for monologue

Last Updated

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Monologue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/monologue. Accessed 6 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for monologue

monologue

noun
How to pronounce monologue (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of monologue

: a long speech given by a character in a story, movie, play, etc., or by a performer (such as a comedian)
: a long speech made by one person that prevents anyone else from talking

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