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 There’s a giant who screeches out the self-loathing monologue in Kay’s head and a serpentine beast that lurks beneath the waves, threatening to capsize her rickety boat. Diana Hubbell, Wired, "Sea of Solitude Captures the Loneliness and Anxiety of the Pandemic," 22 Mar. 2021 For the monologue, Ruffin mostly sits behind a desk delivering topical punch lines. Kathryn Vanarendonk, Vulture, "All Hail Amber Ruffin," 22 Mar. 2021 Part of the hypnotic appeal of the Peloton instructor monologue is how seamlessly the commentary slips into jargon about cadence and resistance. New York Times, "This Is Your Brain on Peloton," 16 Mar. 2021 During the monologue, Nick introduced Kevin, who was sitting in the audience. Anna Chan, Billboard, "Nick Jonas Assures Kevin Jonas the Jonas Brothers Are Still a Band on 'SNL': Watch," 28 Feb. 2021 Honestly, just watch the full monologue for the full effect. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, "Bridgerton Star Regé-Jean Page Perfectly Spoofed His Own Show on Saturday Night Live," 21 Feb. 2021 Ranging through what seems like every possible emotion available to a human being, the monologue is a dramatic marathon for an actress and a fascinating change of pace for Swinton., "‘The Human Voice’: an Almodóvar marvel, short on length, long on everything else," 24 Mar. 2021 Noah acknowledged the hardships of the past year in his opening monologue. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Twitter Reacts to the Surprisingly Good Grammy Awards Ceremony," 15 Mar. 2021 Maher mocked the governor in his opening monologue. Fox News, "Bill Maher suggests Cuomo's refusal to resign is inspired by Trump: He 'never backed down'," 13 Mar. 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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Statistics for monologue

Last Updated

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Monologue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 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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