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

Huffman pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy and fraud in May. Earlier Friday, Talwani said the size of the bribes paid by parents in the admissions scandal would not influence the severity of their punishments. CBS News, "Felicity Huffman sentenced to 14 days in jail for college admissions scandal," 14 Sep. 2019 The Dead Don’t Die star is currently single, but a source told E! Ashley Boucher,, "Selena Gomez's 'Heart Was Very Conflicted' Between Cole Sprouse & Someone Named Juan When She Was 11," 13 Sep. 2019 Huffman pleaded guilty in May to a single count of conspiracy and fraud as part of a deal with prosecutors. Collin Binkley, Anchorage Daily News, "Felicity Huffman gets 14 days in jail, fine, community service for role in college admissions scam," 13 Sep. 2019 Buttigieg has been among the leaders in fundraising, but his polling figures have remained mired in the single digits. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "Takeaways from Buttigieg's performance at Thursday's Democratic debate," 13 Sep. 2019 Never mind that Kennard’s career high is seven sacks, set last year, or that the NFL single-season sack record is 22½, set by Michael Strahan in 2001. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions' Devon Kennard didn't take moral victory after 3-sack game," 13 Sep. 2019 Each recipe makes either a single flask-size portion (six ounces) or a thermos-size batch (17 ounces). Ac Shilton, Outside Online, "Flask Cocktails You Can Drink in the Backcountry," 13 Sep. 2019 Hays didn’t have a hit until his third-inning single Wednesday, then doubled into the left-field corner in the fifth inning. Jon Meoli,, "Orioles manager Brandon Hyde doesn’t often make player comparisons. But he has with rookie Austin Hays.," 12 Sep. 2019 Every single one of the Beatles named country as the music that got them into it. John Wenzel, The Know, "Interview: Ken Burns digs deep in “Country Music,” his new 16-hour PBS documentary series," 12 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In 1984, the band had another huge success with Heartbeat City, an album with five Top 40 singles. Katie Shepherd, Washington Post, "Ric Ocasek, frontman of the Cars, found dead in his Manhattan apartment," 16 Sep. 2019 The Reds, who were officially eliminated from winning the National League Central division Saturday, had their best opportunity to score in the first inning when Joey Votto and Eugenio Suárez hit back-to-back singles. Bobby Nightengale,, "Anthony DeSclafani, Cincinnati Reds make MLB history in 1-0 loss to Arizona Diamondbacks," 15 Sep. 2019 Sierra’s two-out bunt single turned into a triple, effectively, when third baseman Evan Longoria threw wildly down the right-field line. Ron Kroichick,, "Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto thrives again in victory over Marlins," 15 Sep. 2019 South Carolina gained a school-record 493 yards on 38 rushing attempts to set an SEC single-game record with an average of 13.0 yards per carry. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Alabama at South Carolina by the numbers: Tide feasts on East," 14 Sep. 2019 Charli XCX has been tagged as a pop star of tomorrow since 2012, when early singles by the Brit born Charlotte Emma Aitchison made music bloggers—still a force back then—swoon. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Charli XCX Is Probably Not the Future of Pop, and That’s Okay," 14 Sep. 2019 Erick Mejia added a sacrifice fly in the second, and Dozier’s shot after a Merrifield walk and Soler’s single broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth. Lamond Pope,, "Lucas Giolito sets a White Sox record with 8 straight strikeouts, but 2 homers hurt in a 6-3 loss to the Royals," 12 Sep. 2019 Matt Duffy's two-out RBI single in the first gave the Rays a 2-0 lead. Stephen Hawkins,, "Odor’s HR pushes Texas past AL wild-card-leading Rays 10-9," 12 Sep. 2019 Tennis league holding registration for fall Tennis League San Diego is holding registration for its fall singles league including advanced youths and adults. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Group makes lap blankets to honor veterans," 9 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Lewis Brinson doubled and Neil Walker singled to tie it. Michael Kelly,, "Yamamoto gets career-high nine strikeouts but Rockies rally to get walk-off win, sweep of Marlins," 19 Aug. 2019 Brandon Crawford singled with one out, and Mauricio Dubon followed with a single to right. Mike Lefkow, The Mercury News, "Madison Bumgarner solid, but Marlins pin loss on Giants," 14 Sep. 2019 Former Giants farmhand Bryan Reynolds singled with one out, moved to third on Josh Bell’s two-out looping single to right and then scored on Jose Osuna’s double to left. Steve Kroner,, "September blues: Giants fall to Pirates," 12 Sep. 2019 After Schwarber walked and Bryant singled, Lamet got Victor Caratini on a fly ball and Jason Heyward on a strikeout. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Darvish, Cubs strike out Padres’ chances of winning series," 12 Sep. 2019 Top performers typically appear to be unaffected by awards, but low and below-average performers who see their colleagues singled out for praise show signs of improvement. William Park, Quartz at Work, "Why employee rewards are frequently ineffective and potentially counterproductive," 11 Sep. 2019 The answers can single out people who might be more tempted to bring in contraband or make a bad decision like mistreating an inmate while in a stressful situation. USA TODAY, "Animation behind bars, Elliott the elk, SkyStar: News from around our 50 states," 10 Sep. 2019 In 1985, Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds tied Ty Cobb's career record for hits, singling for hit number 4,191 during a game against the Cubs in Chicago., "Today in history: September 8," 8 Sep. 2019 Anderson continued the hot hitting Saturday, singling to lead off the first. Lamond Pope,, "Tim Anderson is vying to join an exclusive club of White Sox batting champions: ‘Why not give it a shot?’," 7 Sep. 2019

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

18 Sep 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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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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