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 monologue (audio) , -​ˌlä-​ \ or monologist \ ˈmä-​nə-​ˌlȯ-​gist How to pronounce monologue (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 During his monologue Musk was self-aware, even if that was a result of a talented writing staff. NBC News, "Elon Musk delivers laughs, tips hat to cryptocurrency on 'Saturday Night Live'," 9 May 2021 During their monologue, Urban noted that this night was a pretty big deal for Guyton. Washington Post, "ACM Awards 2021: Best and worst moments, complete list of winners," 19 Apr. 2021 Days later, a longtime friend and collaborator Seth Rogen made light of the incident during his monologue on Saturday Night Live. Anne Cohen,, "Anne Hathaway Should Host The Oscars Again — Alone This Time," 18 Apr. 2021 Last year's host Ricky Gervais even joked about the lack of an In Memoriam segment during his monologue. Rachel Yang,, "There won't be an In Memoriam segment at the 2021 Golden Globes — here's why," 1 Mar. 2021 Earlier in the night during their monologue, hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler briefly addressed the controversy. Sandra Gonzalez, CNN, "HFPA addresses controversy at Golden Globes: 'We look forward to a more inclusive future'," 28 Feb. 2021 Late in the season, Moss delivers a monologue that is essentially a recap of the last three seasons — the most literal example to date of how The Handmaid's Tale repeats itself. Kristen Baldwin,, "The Handmaid's Tale season 4 review: Guys, just end it already," 23 Apr. 2021 The latter offered a bittersweet comedic monologue, written by playwright and screenwriter Paul Rudnick, that looked at living through the pandemic without the balm of live theater. Charles Passy, WSJ, "Broadway Theater Raises Curtain, Giving Glimpse of Post-Pandemic Return," 4 Apr. 2021 Beckett followed an elliptical path in a rapid-fire, 15-minute monologue to ponder what makes up a person’s conception of the self. Los Angeles Times, "Review: LACMA reopens with six shows that hint to what the future museum will be like," 1 Apr. 2021

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

15 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Monologue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for monologue



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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