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.

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Other words from monologue

monologuist \-ˌlȯ-gist, -ˌlä- \ or monologist \same ormə-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

The wildly addictive app’s success is driven in no small part by Rogowsky, whose monologues and witty banter in between questions have united eager competitors across the world. Time Staff, Time, "The 25 Most Influential People on the Internet," 28 June 2018 Golabek loved how Felder combined monologues and musical performances in a theatrical manner. Christopher Arnott,, "'Pianist of Willesden Lane' Gives Encore At Hartford Stage," 28 June 2018 At the same time, much of his work involves convincing people that Bannon is nothing like the image of him readily available in news reports, late-night talk show monologues and social media memes. Alexander Nazaryan, Newsweek, "Steve Bannon’s Plan To Make America Great Again—With or Without Trump," 28 Dec. 2017 Finally, after months of waiting, Strzok got his chance to address that matter – and delivered a scorching monologue fit for the climax of an Aaron Sorkin script. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "FBI Agent Peter Strzok Scorches GOP in Testimony Fit For Aaron Sorkin Script," 12 July 2018 Over the course of the five-week class, students learned acting techniques through various activities like improvisation, monologues and skit performances. Melanie Feuk, Houston Chronicle, "Kingwood youth program fills void of suburban acting programs," 2 May 2018 Now, Strout’s fourth book, My Name is Lucy Barton, has also been re-worked, and has just opened at the Bridge Theatre, with the American actress Laura Linney making her British stage debut, and performing the book as a monologue. Isobel Thompson, A-LIST, "Centre Stage: Elizabeth Strout," 14 June 2018 The Macy’s scene highlight is a hilarious monologue by Victor (Day) about being a waiter who turned into a stalker. Dave Sturm, Columbia Flier, "At Laurel's Venus Theatre, a woman's wry perspective across four centuries," 16 Mar. 2018 The point of the monologue was to show hypocrisy in Trump's accusation, given that the president has expressed admiration for Russian president Vladimir Putin before. Katie Kilkenny, The Hollywood Reporter, "Late-Night Hosts Take Shots at Trump's NATO Summit Performance," 11 July 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.

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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

20 Sep 2018

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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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the setting in which something occurs

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