single

1 of 3

adjective

sin·​gle ˈsiŋ-gəl How to pronounce single (audio)
1
a
: not married
b
: of or relating to celibacy
2
: unaccompanied by others : lone, sole
the single survivor of the disaster
3
a(1)
: consisting of or having only one part, feature, or portion
single consonants
(2)
: consisting of one as opposed to or in contrast with many : uniform
a single standard for men and women
(3)
: consisting of only one in number
holds to a single ideal
b
: having but one whorl of petals or ray flowers
a single rose
4
a
: consisting of a separate unique whole : individual
every single citizen
b
: of, relating to, or involving only one person
5
a
: frank, honest
a single devotion
b
: exclusively attentive
an eye single to the truth
6
7
: having no equal or like : singular
8
: designed for the use of one person only
a single room
a single bed

single

2 of 3

noun

1
a
: a separate individual person or thing
b
: an unmarried person and especially one young and socially active
usually used in plural
c(1)
: a recording having one short tune on each side
(2)
: a music recording having two or more tracks that is shorter than a full-length album
also : a song that is particularly popular independent of other songs on the same album or by the same artist
2
: a base hit that allows the batter to reach first base
3
a
singles plural : a tennis match or similar game with one player on each side
b
: a golf match between two players
usually used in plural
4
: a room (as in a hotel) for one guest compare double sense 7

single

3 of 3

verb

singled; singling ˈsiŋ-g(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce single (audio)

transitive verb

1
: to select or distinguish from a number or group
usually used with out
2
a
: to advance or score (a base runner) by a single
b
: to bring about the scoring of (a run) by a single

intransitive verb

: to make a single in baseball

Examples of single in a Sentence

Adjective A single shoe was found. It costs $10 for a single glass of wine! a single serving of carrots He earns $2,000 in a single week. Noun He hit a single to right field. Do you want to play singles or doubles? Verb He singled to right field.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Freediving, the practice of plunging deep into the ocean with a single breath, is one of the most dangerous sports in the world, which makes this documentary feel more like a thriller at times. Janey Tracey, EW.com, 23 May 2024 But that single issue was enough to make an impact, Norwood said. Amanda Rosa, Miami Herald, 23 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for single 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'single.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Middle English sengle, from Anglo-French, from Latin singulus one only; akin to Latin sem- one — more at same

First Known Use

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1628, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of single was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near single

Cite this Entry

“Single.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/single. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

single

1 of 3 adjective
sin·​gle ˈsiŋ-gəl How to pronounce single (audio)
1
: not married
especially : never having been married
2
: being alone : being the only one
the single survivor of the disaster
3
: consisting of one
a single standard
4
: having only one row of petals or ray flowers around the center of a blossom
a single rose
5
a
: consisting of a separate whole : individual
each single citizen
b
: of, relating to, or involving only one person
6
: being a whole
a single world
7
: designed for the use of one person only
a single room
a single bed
singleness noun

single

2 of 3 noun
1
a
: a separate individual person or thing
b
: an unmarried adult
c(1)
: a recording having one short tune on each side
(2)
: a music recording having two or more tracks that is shorter than a full-length album
2
: a hit in baseball that enables a batter to reach first base safely
3
plural : a game (as of tennis) between two players

single

3 of 3 verb
singled; singling ˈsiŋ-g(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce single (audio)
1
: to select (a person or thing) from a number or group
usually used with out
2
: to make a single in baseball

More from Merriam-Webster on single

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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