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 In a recent interview with the New York Times, Stewart addressed the expectations of his fans, but sought to redefine his career as less a monologue than an ongoing conversation with them. Brian Lowry, CNN, "Jon Stewart's legacy still looms large in latenight, five years later," 26 June 2020 Speaking during his Wednesday night opening monologue, Carlson said the past few weeks of destructive protests are the fault of radicals who have no knowledge of U.S. history. Spencer Neale, Washington Examiner, "'They're mouth-breathers': Tucker Carlson blasts ignorance of protesters destroying statues," 24 June 2020 The monologue went far enough in production to have been fully shot, and animation had begun. Elise Favis, Washington Post, "The storylines, characters and levels cut from ‘The Last of Us Part II’," 24 June 2020 Pointing to Chicago in his opening monologue, Hannity noted that Democrats and liberal policies have been unable to put an end to gun violence and protect the American citizens who are now marching in the streets. Fox News, "Hannity: You don't have to be a brain surgeon to see dangers of defunding, disbanding police," 9 June 2020 Interspersed throughout his tour of the city are clips of Baldwin delivering an on-camera monologue, filmed against a plain background (in the director’s home). Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "What to Stream: James Baldwin’s Tour of Black San Francisco in “Take This Hammer”," 9 June 2020 Trump responded with a wide-ranging monologue about his frustrations with the Group of 7 and NATO and the World Health Organization. Katrin Bennhold,, "Has ‘America First’ become ‘Trump First’? Germans wonder.," 7 June 2020 During the monologue for his June 4 show, Colbert mentioned cities like Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Seattle and more that have curfews amid the widespread protests. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "On 'Late Show,' Stephen Colbert said America's 'new nightlife hot spot' is Oconomowoc," 5 June 2020 Earlier this week, Jimmy Kimmel owned up to his own white privilege in a monologue about the still churning George Floyd protests. Nick Romano,, "Regina King explains what it's like to have 'the talk' with her son about police brutality," 4 June 2020

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

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Monologue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for monologue


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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