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

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

According to data from Amherst, a real estate investment firm, institutional investors purchases of single-family homes peaked at just under 80,000 in 2013. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "Single-family rental companies turn to Opendoor, Offerpad for new inventory," 3 Dec. 2018 This doesn't simply have an impact on sea life and coastal communities; there are implications for every single person on the planet. Tyler Wetherall, Condé Nast Traveler, "The All-Women Sailing Crew Trying to Save the Ocean of Plastic," 27 Nov. 2018 Some have partners and babies, while others are single or divorced. Harper Smith, Allure, "The Beauty Secrets of Mariachi Las Alteñas, an All-Female Mariachi Band in the Heart of Texas," 13 Nov. 2018 There isn't a space there where the only way in and out of a room is through a single door. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "Netflix Has Hidden All Kinds Of Easter Eggs In The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina House," 25 Oct. 2018 Dinah Jane also released a single last month, and Ally Brooke dropped a duet back in January. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lauren Jauregui Takes Us Behind the Scenes of Her "Expectations" Video Shoot," 24 Oct. 2018 Hanoi also happens to be a perfect microcosm for the region—the timely, the timeless, the graceful, the infuriating, and the unfathomably delicious, all in a single, compact, and (relatively) manageable city. Peter Jon Lindberg, Condé Nast Traveler, "Hanoi, Time and Again," 20 Nov. 2018 Although quite a few drinkers relegate rosé to a single season, summer, certain rosés are equally good or even better in the cool months. Lettie Teague, WSJ, "Let the Wine Do the Talking This Thanksgiving," 16 Nov. 2018 Many new-build single-family houses still subscribe to the continuing arms race of the open concept, with ground floors having fewer and fewer walls. Kate Wagner, Curbed, "Building houses that grow with us," 14 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In standard Ari fashion, the singer paired an uplifting beat with impressive vocals — and offered up not only one of the biggest singles of the year, but a new classic in the canon of breakup bops. 1. Teen Vogue, "The Best Happy Breakup Songs, from "Thank U, Next" to "No Scrubs"," 7 Nov. 2018 Wolters — who came into the game as part of a double switch in the 12th — then drove an RBI single up the middle. Andrew Seligman, The Seattle Times, "For Cubs, season ends on sour note with loss to Rockies," 2 Oct. 2018 With the score 3-3, Nick Martini hit an RBI single that chased Felix Hernandez (8-14), who made his first appearance since gaining American citizenship this week. Doug Miller, Fox News, "Olson's slam helps A's beat Mariners 9-3, close on Yankees," 27 Sep. 2018 Adam Duvall also doubled home two in the ninth, while Jose Peraza and Eugenio Suarez each hit an RBI single. Charlotte Carroll,, "Miscommunication Leads Indians to Use Wrong Pitcher in Ninth-Inning Meltdown," 10 July 2018 Another run scored when Andrew Chafin, on in relief of Miller with one out in the inning, allowed an RBI single to Freddy Galvis. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Shelby Miller much better this time out, but Diamondbacks still fall to the Padres," 5 July 2018 During Saturday's game, a 5-4 victory for the T-Bones, Palmeiro went 1 for 4 with a walk, with his only hit of the night being an RBI single to center field in the top of the first inning. Shaun Goodwin, kansascity, "Former MLB All-Star Rafael Palmeiro returns to baseball with Cleburne Railroaders," 23 June 2018 In the bottom half D.J. Petrinsky scored Austin Todd on an RBI single, but that was UT’s last breath. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "UT eliminated from College World Series by Florida," 20 June 2018 Then Littlefield lined an RBI single to right field. Kenzie Winstead, The Courier-Journal, "St. Xavier baseball beats Hazard 3-0 to advance to state championship," 15 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

At Grist, Eric Holthaus singles out six states as potential climate champions, some, like New Mexico, not the usual suspects. David Roberts, Vox, "After the midterms, US climate politics are even more polarized. Here’s how Dems can move forward.," 12 Nov. 2018 For all his fame, Ashe won only two other Grand Slam singles titles besides his Wimbledon victory over Mr. Connors. Edward Kosner, WSJ, "‘Arthur Ashe’ Review: A Hard Road to Glory," 17 Aug. 2018 With that, Serena would tie Margaret Court’s all-time record for Grand Slam singles titles. Jon Wertheim,, "Takeaways From Women's Semifinals at Wimbledon: Serena, Kerber to Meet in Final," 12 July 2018 And a 24th Grand Slam singles title, which would tie Margaret Court for the record, is now just three matches away. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "As Serena Williams Rolls, It’s Tempting to Think About No. 24," 9 July 2018 Scooter Gennett drew a walk, Joey Votto singled to center and Eugenio Suarez was hit by a pitch. Bobby Nightengale,, "Tyler Mahle pitches well again, Raisel Iglesias holds off Cubs in Cincinnati Reds win," 6 July 2018 After failing twice to get bunts down, Manny Pina singled to left to put two on with no outs. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 6, Twins 5 (10): After falling behind on yet another grand slam, Brewers rally," 2 July 2018 Instead, Vazquez and Mookie Betts singled and Benintendi drew an eight-pitch walk to load the bases. Brian Costa, WSJ, "Red Sox Notch Game 2 World Series Win Over Dodgers," 25 Oct. 2018 Cal Hejza followed with a bunt single and Garry Maynard singled to load the bases with no outs. 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

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

11 Dec 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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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).


having a pattern of small flowers

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