mono·​logue | \ ˈmä-nə-ˌlȯg , -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.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from monologue

monologuist \ -​ˌlȯ-​gist , -​ˌlä-​ \ or monologist \ same or  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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

During her opening monologue with Andy Samberg, Sandra made reference to a quote that Lady Gaga has frequently used during interviews for A Star Is Born, HuffPost pointed out. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Lady Gaga Screamed "It's True" After Sandra Oh Mocked Her "A Star Is Born" Meme at Golden Globes 2019," 7 Jan. 2019 Oh and Samberg winked at this quote during their opening monologue, and Gaga responded in good spirits. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "The Biggest Moments From the 2019 Golden Globes," 6 Jan. 2019 At points during his monologue, there was sparse clapping. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Kanye West delivered a pro-Trump rant on SNL. The audience booed, but he earned Trump’s praise.," 30 Sep. 2018 Kimmel was quick to mention his nominations during his Thursday night monologue, also poking some fun at the annual ceremony. Thr Staff, The Hollywood Reporter, "Emmys: Late-Night Hosts Celebrate and Poke Fun at Nominations," 12 July 2018 During her monologue, Fey took questions from the audience -- which included Jerry Seinfeld, ironically asking if the show has too many celebrity cameos. Allison Crist, Billboard, "Watch Tina Fey Navigate Star-Studded Audience in 'SNL' Hosting Return," 20 May 2018 Jimmy Kimmel Live!’’ host played a clip during his monologue Monday night that showed first lady Melania Trump reading aloud from a children’s book during the White House Easter celebration. Sonia Rao,, "Jimmy Kimmel feuds with Sean Hannity, who called him a ‘disgrace’ after Melania Trump jokes," 6 Apr. 2018 Earlier in the night Helen Mirren took a shot of tequila on the red carpet before joining Jimmy Kimmel on stage during his monologue. Lena Grossman, Time, "Jennifer Lawrence Was Peak Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars," 5 Mar. 2018 History reports that one of her first notable projects involved touring the country for a one-woman show of character monologues, The Spook Show. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Whoopi Goldberg Battled Dyslexia and Drug Addiction Before Becoming a Movie Star," 8 Nov. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of monologue

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for monologue

Middle French monologue, from mon- + -logue

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about monologue

Statistics for monologue

Last Updated

8 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for monologue

The first known use of monologue was in 1549

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on monologue

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with monologue

Spanish Central: Translation of monologue

Nglish: Translation of monologue for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of monologue for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about monologue

Comments on monologue

What made you want to look up monologue? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deny responsibility for

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!