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.

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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

The writing adopts multiple registers, from snappy dialogue to sprawling monologues. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "How Matthew Lopez Transformed “Howards End” Into an Epic Play About Gay Life," 2 Sep. 2019 The movie’s also very meta, with multiple scenes that break the fourth wall as Harvey delivers monologues more or less into the camera. Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Jacob’s Ladder,’ another remake nobody asked for, and more movies," 22 Aug. 2019 Older actors will work on skills for monologues and scenes. courant.com, "Community News For The Wethersfield Edition," 22 Aug. 2019 Now, Colbert's monologues are chock full of blistering commentary about Trump and his administration, and the president has noticed. Allyson Chiu, chicagotribune.com, "Colbert had Trump on his show once, says he won’t do it again.," 15 Aug. 2019 In guises ranging from draconian schoolmarm to misanthropic homeless man (complete with scratchy voice and scraggly beard), Blanchett performs self-serious monologues assembled from excerpts of artistic manifestoes. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "Cate Blanchett Dons 13 Guises in This Daring Art Installation," 26 July 2019 Encouraged by Bruce, Mr. Krassner often took to the stage, delivering comic monologues at nightclubs. Joseph Berger, BostonGlobe.com, "1960s prankster Paul Krassner, who named Yippies, dies at 87," 21 July 2019 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

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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Statistics for monologue

Last Updated

6 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for monologue

The first known use of monologue was in 1549

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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

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