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 However, the day will mainly be remembered for what happened away from the field, for a four-minute live monologue by Michael Holding, a former West Indies great and now a Sky Sports commentator, during one of the day's many rain delays. Aimee Lewis, CNN, "Handcuffs to light bulbs shine light on painful Black experience," 11 July 2020 As an extra bonus, here is Rivera's perfect delivery of Santana's important monologue about cultural appropriation from the same episode. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "The Best Naya Rivera Performances on Glee That Will Never Be Forgotten," 11 July 2020 In one monologue last month, Carlson laid into Trump for his response to the George Floyd protests, some of which have spun out into riots. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Tucker Carlson all the rage in Republican circles talking up 2024," 3 July 2020 Downs had a particular interest in science, once launching into a monologue on the Paar show on the science underlying water-skiing. David Bauder, Fortune, "Hugh Downs, broadcaster known for news, game, and talk shows, dies at 99," 2 July 2020 Seales wore several hair looks during the show including a pompadour for the opening monologue, an Afro and a simple high ponytail accentuated by a gorgeous gold hairpiece. Shalwah Evans, Essence, "Amanda Seales' Pre-Show Halo Braid Was The Beauty Highlight Of The BET Awards," 29 June 2020 YouTube didn't respond to an email asking if Jones' monologue was consistent with its policies. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Lawsuit by Black YouTubers against YouTube faces “uphill battle”," 25 June 2020 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

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

6 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Monologue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 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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