noun mono·logue \ ˈmä-nə-ˌlȯg , -ˌläg \
variants: or less commonly monolog
|Updated on: 12 Jul 2018

Definition of monologue

1 a : soliloquy 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.


play \-ˌlȯ-gist, -ˌlä-\ or monologist play \ same or mə-ˈnä-lə-jist, -gist\ noun

Examples of monologue in a Sentence

  1. The play begins with the main character's monologue.

  2. The comedian is famous for his monologue about winning the lottery.

  3. I stifled a yawn as she launched into a monologue about how she is going to become a famous star.

Recent Examples of monologue from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of monologue

Middle French monologue, from mon- + -logue

Other Performing Arts Terms

MONOLOGUE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of monologue for English Language Learners

  • : 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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