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.

Other Words from monologue

monologuist \ ˈmä-​nə-​ˌlȯ-​gist How to pronounce monologue (audio) , -​ˌlä-​ \ or monologist \ ˈmä-​nə-​ˌlȯ-​gist How to pronounce monologue (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.
Recent Examples on the Web Kenan Thompson poked fun at a number of timely topics, from Netflix’s stock issues to Hollywood diversity to the controversial 2022 Oscars telecast, during his monologue as host of the 2022 Primetime Emmys on Monday. Ryan Gajewski, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Sep. 2022 Life, Liberty and Levin host Mark Levin offered a theory that the January 6 committee is a sinister ploy to stop former President Trump from ever returning to The White House during his monologue Sunday night. Alexander Hall, Fox News, 25 July 2022 Colbert addressed the incident during his Monday monologue. Ben Flanagan |, al, 21 June 2022 Her screenplay gives each of the main characters a monologue. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2022 As opera singer Jessye Norman, Jue brings Act One to a close with a monologue that blends passion, poetry, and history. Don Aucoin,, 1 Sep. 2022 Perhaps there’s a truly good idea for improving your daily routines hidden within a goofy monologue. Chicago Tribune, 24 Aug. 2022 Barbara delivers a scathing monologue midway through the film that wannabe actors still perform. Helena Andrews-dyer, Washington Post, 10 Aug. 2022 In the video, which has been viewed nearly 68,000 times on Auburn football’s official Twitter account since it was posted last Friday, Harsin opens with a monologue to Auburn’s quarterbacks. Tom Green |, al, 9 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of monologue was in 1549

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Last Updated

24 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Monologue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.

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