monologue

noun
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.

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

More recently, a brand-new set of monologues about Lake Wobegon — culled from the final two years of Garrison’s time hosting the show — was just released through his website. Molly Guthrey, Twin Cities, "Garrison Keillor ruminates on Minnesota in Harper’s essay — and plans a fall tour," 24 July 2019 In part, that’s because the playwright has made the monologue shared by Gina (Duncan), whose atypical misdeed as a kid got her sent to prison, so compelling. Christine Dolen, sun-sentinel.com, "Review: ‘She Shorts’ puts women in the spotlight," 15 July 2019 On Monday, the Fox News Channel host began his show with a monologue about California. oregonlive.com, "Portland and West Coast homeless problems again come under fire on Fox News Channel," 19 June 2019 The episode opens with Emily walking to the bed for the ceremony, soundtracked by a monologue about how to deal with the monthly ritual rape. Rena Gross, Billboard, "14 Significant Moments From 'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2, Episode 10 'The Last Ceremony'," 20 June 2018 Quickly, and disappointingly, the scripts thinned, looping back to the same arguments and the same tearful monologues, so much so that the episodes started to give me déjà vu. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "The Disappointing, Emmy-Baiting Finale of “Big Little Lies” Season 2," 22 July 2019 Actors will perform cold reads and monologues, and music production students will demonstrate how to mix beats, among other activities. Domenica Bongiovanni, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana Black Expo is moving soon. That means changes for teens at the Summer Celebration.," 19 July 2019 There will be no monologue, only a big opening musical number. Washington Post, "Tony Awards host James Corden hopes audience will find ‘joy’," 7 June 2019 There will be no monologue, only a big opening musical number. John Carucci And Mark Kennedy, chicagotribune.com, "Tony Awards host James Corden hopes audience will find 'joy'," 7 June 2019

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

9 Aug 2019

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

monologue

noun

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

of or relating to the heavens

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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