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.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from monologue

monologuist \ -​ˌlȯ-​gist , -​ˌlä-​ \ or monologist \ same or  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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

West dominated the conversation with a series of monologues that touched on social policy, mental health, endorsement deals and his support for the president. James Freeman, WSJ, "A ‘Hero’s Journey’ and the U.S. Economy," 11 Oct. 2018 Such wanton violence probably reflects the state of mind of Mr Shekau, an enigmatic figure known through videos of his rambling monologues. The Economist, "The fight against Islamic State is moving to Africa," 14 July 2018 Her monologue near the play's conclusion is filled with fiery intensity. Theodore P. Mahne,, "Intense production makes rare staging of Genet's 'The Maids' a standout," 1 June 2018 Check out the reactions to Minaj's new video below: that chun li video is... wow the monologue, the costuming, the scenery, nicki minaj will never top this. Billboard, "Twitter Fans React to Nicki Minaj's New Videos For 'Chun-Li' and 'Barbie Tingz'," 4 May 2018 Watch the full monologue on YouTube ( Michelle Singletary,, "When a $4,000 dress is a symbol of frugality," 9 Mar. 2018 Revisit the best jokes from her opening monologue below. Maeve Mcdermott, USA TODAY, "Tiffany Haddish wore Duchess Meghan's wedding dress at the MTV Movie and TV Awards," 18 June 2018 For her opening monologue, Rae wore a neon-green custom Sergio Hudson suit. Lindsay Peoples, The Cut, "Issa Rae Wore 5 Looks by 5 Black Designers at the CFDA Awards," 6 June 2018 Marion argues that people can live fulfilling lives regardless of their social position, and her monologue, one of the longest in the series, summarizes Fassbinder's perspective and provides a stirring climax. Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, "When Rainer Werner Fassbinder cheered up," 17 May 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.

See More

First Known Use of monologue

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for monologue

Middle French monologue, from mon- + -logue

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about monologue

Statistics for monologue

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for monologue

The first known use of monologue was in 1549

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on monologue

What made you want to look up monologue? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!