sin·gle | \ˈsiŋ-gəl \

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 \

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

alone, lone, lonely, lonesome, solitary, solo, unaccompanied

Antonyms: Adjective


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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 video, directed by Dave Meyers, was released just hours after the single, and is filled with can't miss moments and imageries that left fans mystified. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande's "God Is a Woman" Music Video Is Full of Vagina References," 13 July 2018 With the scored tied 5-5, Miller got the winning rally started for Oswego (9-4) with a single. Paul Johnson, Aurora Beacon-News, "JD gets job done: Miller goes 4-for-6 and scores three runs as Oswego outlasts Kaneland in regional," 11 July 2018 Jorge López pitched two hitless innings before giving up a leadoff single to former Brewers minor-leaguer Garrett Cooper to start the Miami 12th. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Marlins 5, Brewers 4: Offense can't rescue Peralta in extra-inning loss," 11 July 2018 When Kerrigan and Altman started, there were still factories in North Philly where seamstresses could sew uniforms at single machines. Joseph N. Distefano,, "Team Sports Planet: an Internet pioneer faces Amazon, private equity," 9 July 2018 Nearly $9 million of that was paid in cash, processed by a single cash-counting machine in Anchorage. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "For third month in a row, Alaska marijuana tax tops $1 million," 4 July 2018 The zoo, which this year removed single-use plastic straws from all its concession stands, is concerned about the harm plastic straws can do to sea turtles and other marine life. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "Houston Zoo partnering with local bars on new straw initiative," 13 July 2018 Nothing changed except my filing status was now single., "Widow considers changing tax withholding in second year filing single," 12 July 2018 Some of the homes are being constructed with two master bedrooms, a design strategy by builder Reynen & Bardis to help a young single professional buy a home and bring on a housemate to help pay the mortgage. Tony Bizjak, sacbee, "Remember the old state fairgrounds? It’s Sacramento’s newest urban housing hot spot," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The collab theme song by the visual kei giants will be released globally on digital platforms, and a CD single will be released this fall from Japan's Pony Canyon label. Billboard Japan, Billboard, "X JAPAN & HYDE Join Forces for 'Attack on Titan' Anime Series Opener, 'Red Swan'," 13 July 2018 Hector Rondon began warming after the third, which Mark Canha struck for a leadoff single. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Bizarre ending secures Astros' extra-innings victory over A's," 11 July 2018 Chris Taylor ripped a run-scoring single into right. Andy Mccullough,, "Kershaw continues to make progress on the mound in Dodgers' 8-2 win over the Padres," 10 July 2018 But closer Cody Allen ran into some trouble, giving up a two-out RBI single, a two-run double and a pair of walks to load the bases. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Indians' bizarre bullpen gaffe leads to epic Reds comeback in ninth," 10 July 2018 Joe Mauer followed with a soft single to right field that allowed Wilson to reach third. Maria Torres, kansascity, "Royals bullpen, dormant offense spoil Danny Duffy's start in narrow loss to Twins," 9 July 2018 In the fifth inning, Harper and Anthony Rendon scored on a Reynolds single to give the Nationals a 7-3 advantage. Khadrice Rollins,, "Watch: Mark Reynolds Hits Two Homers and Becomes 15th Player to Get 10 RBIs in a Game," 7 July 2018 Starting with a Nick Markakis flyout in that first and ending with a Markakis single in the fourth, Peralta retired nine straight. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Rookie Freddy Peralta continues to impress at every turn," 6 July 2018 Bauers hooked a double down the right-field line to plate the go-ahead runs, and reliever Vidal Nuno later followed with a RBI single off Graves, the Rule 5 pick making his fourth major league appearance. Matthew Defranks,, "Marlins denied another walk-off win as Rays outlast Miami in 16 innings," 4 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Look for fans and pundits alike to be eyeing another Kerber-Williams singles final in Mason next month. Patrick Brennan,, "Angelique Kerber downs Serena Williams at Wimbledon in lead-up to Western & Southern Open," 14 July 2018 Andrus doubled to lead off the sixth, and then Nomar Mazara singled before Sale struck out Adrian Beltre . Hartford Courant,, "Sale Helps Red Sox Win Ninth Straight, 4-2 Over Texas," 12 July 2018 After Garrett Cooper singled to start the 12th for the Marlins and advanced to second on JT Riddle's ground ball, the Rockies had Anderson walked intentionally to set up the force. Clark Spencer, miamiherald, "Marlins celebrate another extra-inning win on walk-off hit in 12th," 12 July 2018 Serena Williams is headed to her 30th Grand Slam singles final after beating Julia Goerges in the 2018 Wimbledon semi-final on Thursday. Cady Lang, Time, "Serena Williams on Heading to the Wimbledon Final: 'It's Not Inevitable For Me to Be Playing Like This'," 12 July 2018 Families, couples, and singles all gathered together to hear the soothing sounds of duo Acoustic Anomaly. Quoron Walker, Courant Community, "Bolton Summer Concert Series Kicks Off," 11 July 2018 Replays showed that Herrera, who singled with two outs in the inning, slid his hand onto the bag at first before the Twins' Joe Mauer could apply a tag. Maria Torres, kansascity, "'I don't know what's going on': Yost frustrated with umpires in Royals' loss to Twins," 9 July 2018 After Anthony Rizzo singled through the wide open left side of the infield two batters later, the Tigers’ three-run lead was gone. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers might be wise to trade Michael Fulmer. Here's why," 3 July 2018 Kennedy voted this week with a 5-4 conservative majority to uphold Trump’s travel ban as a legitimate move to protect national security, rejecting arguments that the president singled out Muslims. Laura Litvan,, "Senate Democrats Have Little Chance to Delay Trump’s Court Pick," 28 June 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

2 Oct 2018

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 \

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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Comments on single

What made you want to look up single? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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