sin·​gle | \ ˈsiŋ-gəl How to pronounce single (audio) \

Definition of single

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : not married
b : of or relating to celibacy
2 : unaccompanied by others : lone, sole the single survivor of the disaster
3a(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
4a : consisting of a separate unique whole : individual every single citizen
b : of, relating to, or involving only one person
5a : frank, honest a single devotion
b : exclusively attentive an eye single to the truth
7 : having no equal or like : singular
8 : designed for the use of one person only a single room a single bed



Definition of single (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : 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
3a 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


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

Definition of single (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to select or distinguish from a number or group usually used with out
2a : 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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for single

Synonyms: Adjective

unattached, unmarried, unwed

Antonyms: Adjective

attached, espoused, hitched, married, wedded (also wed)

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Examples of single in a Sentence


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.


He hit a single to right field. Do you want to play singles or doubles?


He singled to right field.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The proposal itself was a total surprise; my fiance, Tom, spent four months planning it so that every single micro-detail was customized to reflect us and our relationship. Kaye Toal, SELF, "I'm Fat and I'm Not Going to Lose Weight for My Wedding," 1 Mar. 2019 Levi's: Drop clean denim items of any brand into in-store collection boxes to receive 20% off a single regularly price item. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "9 New Ways to Donate Your Clothes," 27 Feb. 2019 One European initiative did work: the single market. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Incredible Shrinking Europe," 11 Feb. 2019 The home is undergoing massive renovations to turn it into a habitable single-family home. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Almost Ready to Move Into Frogmore Cottage," 1 Feb. 2019 Border checkpoints have disappeared since Ireland and Britain both became members of the EU single market in the 1990s, and since the 1998 Good Friday peace accord largely ended decades of violence in Northern Ireland. Danica Kirka, The Seattle Times, "UK leader under new pressure to secure EU Brexit concessions," 29 Jan. 2019 The 3,150 square-foot single-family abode is also nestled on 0.4 acres of land, which may not fit farm animals like the Gaineses’ cows, but could probably fit a chicken coop. Megan Stein, Country Living, "You Can Buy This Brand-New Farmhouse Designed by Joanna Gaines," 22 Jan. 2019 On Spotify alone, the single currently has over 366,000,000 streams—and now, it’s starting to get covered by some famous fans, too. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Kelly Clarkson Covered “Shallow” and the Internet Lost It," 17 Feb. 2019 The way single Americans pair up has changed a lot over the years. Dean Peterson, Vox, "How the economy shapes our love lives," 13 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

On Saturday, Angelique Kerber beat Serena Williams in the women’s singles final to win her first Wimbledon title. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Novak Djokovic beats Kevin Anderson to win 4th Wimbledon title," 15 July 2018 In the ladies' first-ever solo outing, Middleton and Markle will watch Serena Williams battle it out in the women's singles final. Ruby Buddemeyer, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Will Watch Bestie Serena Williams Play in the Wimbledon Final," 13 July 2018 Kudla, who qualified in men's singles for the first time at the All England Club, was coming off a loss to Roger Federer in the semifinals of the Gerry Weber Open, a grass-court tournament in Halle, Germany., "Digest (July 2): Wayne Rooney on joining D.C. United: 'I'm here to win'," 3 July 2018 The new cap will affect many married couples more than singles, because the $10,000 SALT limit is per return and not per person. WSJ, "WSJ Tax Guide 2019: State and Local Tax Deduction," 15 Feb. 2019 During a Tinder date, the newly-single Jessica can’t stop talking about her ex—and lucky for her, neither can her date. Alexis Jones And Deanna Janes, Harper's BAZAAR, "21 Rom-Coms to Stream on Netflix this Valentine's Day," 13 Feb. 2019 Baseball pundits once believed a middle infielder was necessarily a player of slight build who slapped singles to the opposite field. Colin Fleming, WSJ, "Jackie Robinson, the Complete Ballplayer," 30 Jan. 2019 New sections will include singles and EPs, live albums, and songs the artist appears on, as well as latest releases. Micah Singleton, The Verge, "Apple Music is easier to use and has more personalized features in iOS 12," 12 Sep. 2018 She and Prince William are at the tournament to watch the men's singles final, where Novak Djokovic will take on South Africa's Kevin Anderson for the Grand Slam title. Lindsay Silberman, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton Steps Out at Wimbledon in a Dolce & Gabbana Dress," 15 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Rarely do folks single out a mascara for its nuanced shade of black or brown. Sable Yong, Allure, "Why Are Mascara Names So Damn Thirsty?," 25 Sep. 2018 Jim Adducii singled to being the tying run to the plate but Rodriguez struck out Ronny Rodriguez and forced Jose Iglesias to ground out. Stefan Stevenson, star-telegram, "Rangers reaction: Jeff Banister reaches club milestone at record pace," 5 July 2018 Christian Yelich singled in a run but Aguilar grounded into a double play to end the game. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Pirates 6, Brewers 3: A long stretch of games and an early-morning arrival lead to a rough loss," 12 July 2018 Dornbos singled in the first inning to give St. Laurence a 1-0 lead. Pat Disabato, Daily Southtown, "Cleaning up: Matt Dornbos drives in three runs as St. Laurence tops H-F for summer baseball regional title," 11 July 2018 Choo also singled in the ninth and had two of Texas' five hits. Stefan Stevenson, star-telegram, "Rangers Reaction: Pitching duel helps breeze past the offense," 6 July 2018 Boston, left-handed all the way, passed up a scholarship to Oklahoma State to sign with Chicago and reached the majors with the White Sox in 1984, singling off Texas knuckleball-throwing Charlie Hough in his first at-bat on May 1. Mark Schmetzer,, "Interleague play with Reds gives former Woodward star Daryl Boston a chance to come home," 3 July 2018 Fields, 4-for-8 in Monday’s two games, singled home Wenner in the first and was one of four Redsters to score in the third. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "League City Red ekes out Section Pony crown over League City White," 3 July 2018 Travis Jankowski singled in his first three at-bats, finished 3-for-5 and is hitting .393 with a .469 on-base percentage over his past 10 games (33 plate appearances). Kevin Acee,, "Padres notes: Villa's defense; Hand, Yates out; Margot's base blunders," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'single.' 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 single


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


1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1628, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for single


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

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Statistics for single

Last Updated

6 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for single

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

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More Definitions for single



English Language Learners Definition of single

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: not having or including another : only one
: not married or not having a serious romantic relationship with someone
used for emphasis after words like any, each, every, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of single (Entry 2 of 3)

: an unmarried person and especially one who is young and socially active
baseball : a hit that allows the batter to reach first base
cricket : a hit that scores one run



English Language Learners Definition of single (Entry 3 of 3)

: to hit a single in baseball


sin·​gle | \ ˈsiŋ-gəl How to pronounce single (audio) \

Kids Definition of single

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : being alone : being the only one He … made a single effort to jump …— Walter Farley, The Black Stallion
2 : being a separate whole : individual … the sheriff pretended to study the menu—though he knew every single word on it by heart.— Robert McCloskey, Homer Price
3 : not married
4 : made up of or having only one The word has a single syllable.
5 : made for only one person a single bed


singled; singling

Kids Definition of single (Entry 2 of 3)

: to select or distinguish (as one person or thing) from a number or group My sister was singled out for praise.



Kids Definition of single (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : a separate individual person or thing
2 : a hit in baseball that enables the batter to reach first base

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More from Merriam-Webster on single

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with single

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for single

Spanish Central: Translation of single

Nglish: Translation of single for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of single for Arabic Speakers

Comments on single

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the range of authority or knowledge

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