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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web The Rapper and Chris Tucker — devoted seven minutes of his opening monologue to the victory. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 23 July 2021 Contrary to her inner monologue and the narrative spun by French Open officials and some tennis observers, this daughter of a Japanese mother and a Haitian father comes across not as weak but as deeply introspective. Jen Chaney, Vulture, 14 July 2021 The account chronicles Boo Boo’s journey across the South Shore, imagining stops on the bear’s travels and its inner monologue., 11 June 2021 Inspired by their latest Twitter spat, Kimmel dedicated his opening monologue on Tuesday’s edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live! Dani Di Placido, Forbes, 26 May 2021 Musk only mentioned his Asperger's briefly, and dedicated the end of of his monologue to his mother, model Maye Musk, on the eve of Mother's Day. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, 10 May 2021 Yeah, there's a ton of story in terms of what happens between this and his very first murder monologue, and when our characters cross him. Dalton Ross,, 5 Apr. 2021 The monologue that inspired Thorpe last winter was the work of Ashley Ward, a twenty-six-year-old associate director working in television. Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, 23 June 2021 The monologue can be an art form, and also a fudge. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 26 May 2021

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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Last Updated

26 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Monologue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Aug. 2021.

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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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