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

One of the latter, Hugh Dancy’s Charlie, tries, almost successfully, to wheedle her into bed; another, Reid Scott’s Tom, the show’s head monologue writer, feels threatened and tries to block her best ideas. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Review: Late Night Is a Pitch-Perfect Workplace Comedy," 7 June 2019 And the writing, liberated since Season 2 from Margaret Atwood’s elegantly spare source material, is all over the place, meaning that June gets ponderous inner monologues comparing herself to trees, but also sporadically clunky outbursts. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Empty Empowerment of The Handmaid’s Tale," 5 June 2019 The first part offers eight sets, including monologues from Sabrina Jalees, Phil Wang, Tim Dillon and Michelle Buteau — the rough streaming equivalent of an evening at a comedy club. Gabe Cohn, New York Times, "What’s on TV Tuesday: ‘The Comedy Lineup’ and ‘The Purge’," 3 July 2018 Comedian Michelle Wolf stirred controversy over the weekend for her monologue at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. Aubrey Nagle,, "Comcast staffers report sexual harassment, Cosby jury explains verdict | Morning Newsletter," 1 May 2018 Hamilton said there was too much coursing through his head to remember his internal monologue from that devastating moment. Michael Casagrande,, "Stories behind Alabama LB's tearful final Bryant-Denny exit, 1-foot championship outburst," 4 Mar. 2018 Letterman's first guest is Barack Obama, who comes out after a disappointingly short opening monologue from Letterman. Matt Miller, Esquire, "David Letterman Has Returned. But This Is Not the Same Beloved Late-Night Legend.," 12 Jan. 2018 Rose Leslie, Emilia Clarke, and John Bradley all made unforgettable cameos in the opening monologue. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kit Harington Played Winston Churchill in a Hilarious Theresa May Brexit Skit on SNL," 7 Apr. 2019 The 2019 Golden Globes kicked off with Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg's opening monologue, which included references to some of the night's biggest nominees. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "Emma Stone Shouted "I'm Sorry" at the Golden Globes 2019 After Sandra Oh Called Out Whitewashing in "Aloha"," 7 Jan. 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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Statistics for monologue

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for monologue

The first known use of monologue was in 1549

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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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