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

Rookie Paul Fry held it there, and the Orioles chipped back with an RBI single by Manny Machado that hit off the leg of Phillies starter Nick Pivetta and scored Tim Beckham from third in the sixth. Jon Meoli,, "Gausman battered, comeback bid falls short in Orioles' 5-4 loss to Phillies," 13 July 2018 In the second, eight Brewers came to the plate, including two-run singles by Christian Yelich and Tyler Saladino. Matthew Defranks,, "Pablo Lopez, Marlins can't overcome rocky start in loss to Brewers," 11 July 2018 It was highlighted by an RBI double by McCormick, run-scoring singles by Alex Gasbarro and Luke Montgomery and a sac fly by Edwin Alvarez. Pat Disabato, Daily Southtown, "Max-imum effort: Max Engstrom settles down after the first inning in pitching St. Laurence past St. Rita," 11 July 2018 USA TODAY's list includes superstar singles by Drake and Childish Gambino and breakthrough new tracks from Snail Mail and Troye Sivan, as well as other sleeper classics listeners may have missed. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "USA TODAY's best songs of 2018 (so far)," 26 June 2018 After a leadoff single by Eric Thames, Ryan Braun jumped on a first-pitch slider from Junis and knocked it out to center field to give the Brewers a 5-0 lead. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 5, Royals 1: Yet another impressive outing for rookie right-hander Freddy Peralta," 26 June 2018 The first three runs scored via a two-run double by Jason Heyward and an RBI single by Javier Baez. Tom Groeschen,, "Lorenzen, Winker homers power Cincinnati Reds to 8-6 comeback win over Chicago Cubs," 24 June 2018 Boone Grove coach Pat Antone pulled Bothwell after a two-run single by Chase Taylor made it 5-4. Mike Hutton,, "Bryce Morris saves win for Ty Bothwell and Boone Grove in Class 2A state baseball final," 16 June 2018 Consecutive two-out singles by Altuve and Alex Bregman chased Paxton in the eighth. Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle, "Dallas Keuchel struggles in Astros' loss to Mariners," 5 June 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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