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

Taylor dropped the single (on which Urie, of Panic! at the Disco fame, also appears) less than a week ago on April 26. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Taylor Swift Performed "ME!" at the Billboard Music Awards and Twitter Has Feelings," 2 May 2019 The sorrowful words aren't the only allure of the single. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Dan + Shay Explain the Real Meaning Behind 'Tequila'," 3 Apr. 2019 There isn’t a single agreed-upon scientific definition. Sally Satel, WSJ, "Vaping Is Harm Reduction," 13 Feb. 2019 Delphix’s technology allows data to exist in one virtual copy for each group that needs it so that changes can be made on a single copy in real time. Sara Castellanos, WSJ, "Morgan Stanley Center of Excellence Readies Bank for AI’s Data Demands," 22 Apr. 2019 Arrange the asparagus in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle any remaining crumbs on top. Ashley Rodriguez, Woman's Day, "Parmesan Roasted Asparagus," 10 Apr. 2019 The drama was squarely focused on her eye makeup, revealing a bold interpretation of a traditional cat-eye that included coppery-pink crystals in lieu of an extended wing, with a single crystal placed below each lower lashline. Teen Vogue, "Storm Reid Attends Prom With Sayeed Shahidi," 14 Apr. 2019 The daughter of a single, alcoholic mother, Becca spends most of her time hiding behind her camera. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Everything You Need to Know About Netflix's Newest Teen Drama "The Society"," 4 Apr. 2019 One of the priciest single meal items on the menu, the $4.99 double cheeseburger doesn't quite live up to the higher price tag. Alex Aronson, Redbook, "The 14 Best Costco Food Court Menu Items, Ranked," 4 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

No controversy here: Novak Djokovic is the U.S. Open men's singles champion. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Novak Djokovic sweeps aside del Potro in US Open final," 9 Sep. 2018 Del Potro held four match points while serving for the victory at 5-4 in the fourth set, but had to wait until the last tiebreaker to advance in 4 hours, 24 minutes, making it the longest men’s singles match of the tournament. Howard Fendrich,, "Serena Williams storms back to reach Wimbledon semifinals," 10 July 2018 Among the others to advance were Rafael Nadal and Federer, the world’s top two men’s singles players, who 10 years ago squared off in an unforgettable Wimbledon final that many people call the greatest match in the history of the sport. Sam Farmer,, "Roger Federer continues to set opponents straight at Wimbledon, reaches quarterfinals," 9 July 2018 Prize money The All England Club will award a total of £34 million (about $45.1 million) in prize money to competitors at Wimbledon 2018, with the men’s and women’s singles champions each receiving £2.25 million ( about $2.3 million). Megan Mccluskey, Time, "When is Wimbledon 2018? Your Ultimate Guide to Tennis' Biggest Tournament," 25 June 2018 The Highlanders did not lose a team match all year, and top singles player Andie Weise and doubles team Frankie La Londe and Alyssa Boyer both earned state runnerup finishes in the individual competition. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here are the teams and athletes from Milwaukee area who won state titles in 2017-18," 20 June 2018 Piscotty hit his second single of the night in the seventh for Oakland, which began a stretch of 18 straight games with Thursday’s stateside opener against the Angels. Janie Mccauley, The Seattle Times, "Canha hits 2-run HR, Anderson sharp as A’s top Angels 4-2," 30 Mar. 2019 The Brewers tied it at 3-3 in the eighth, on an RBI single from Travis Shaw. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Marlins 4, Brewers 3 (10 innings): Hader surrenders back-to-back homers; offense struggles," 9 July 2018 Scott Schebler, who had four hits Monday, drove in Hamilton with an RBI single into right field. Bobby Nightengale,, "Joey Votto homers, Anthony DeSclafani pitches 7 innings as Cincinnati Reds beat Cleveland," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

From there our editors test and single out the most special. Glamour, "Introducing the 214 Best Products of the Year," 25 Mar. 2019 His was one voice among many urging Mr. Trump to single out China for pressure. Greg Ip, WSJ, "Trump Didn’t Kill the Global Trade System. He Split It in Two.," 26 Dec. 2018 Women were overrepresented among defendants in federal loyalty cases, and agencies that employed a disproportionately large share of women were often singled out for close scrutiny. Erin Cassese, Vox, "A political history of the term “witch hunt”," 31 Oct. 2018 Collette in particular is being singled out for her riveting, unraveling performance, as is Aster's handiwork. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What's new on screen, including 'Ocean's 8,' and where the free outdoor movies are this week," 7 June 2018 When two-time Western and Southern Open singles champion and tennis legend Serena Williams withdrew from the French Open with a chest muscle injury, organizers of the Mason event likely couldn't help but cringe. Dave Clark,, "Serena Williams' injury has Western and Southern Open hoping for speedy recovery," 5 June 2018 Williams, in contrast, owns seven Grand Slam singles championships and has been the runner-up nine times, including a loss to her younger sister, Serena, in the 2002 French Open final. Howard Fendrich, The Seattle Times, "Venus Williams: 2 1st-round Slam exits in row for 1st time," 27 May 2018 Freddie Freeman followed with a single and Wilkerson walked Nick Markakis to load the bases for Johan Camargo, who then singled to left to put Wilkerson into a quick 2-0 hole. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "It was a rough day for Brewers pitcher Aaron Wilkerson," 7 July 2018 Anderson vexed him again by singling for the second time. Andy Mccullough,, "Rockies stifle Dodgers' bats despite solid outing from pitcher Rich Hill in 3-1 loss," 30 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

15 May 2019

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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

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


something valued as if it were money

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