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

Redshirt senior kicker Logan Justus led the way in Indiana’s 34-24 win over Ball State, tying the program’s single-game record with four field goals. Stefan Krajisnik, Indianapolis Star, "Logan Justus puts best foot forward in IU's season-opening win," 1 Sep. 2019 In a single Juneau block, for example, a visitor can find a bar, beer garden and brewery all serving beer and food under different licenses. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Bar wars: Proposal to limit activities in Alaska breweries and distilleries is the latest twist in a long regulatory evolution," 1 Sep. 2019 Williams, who was often double-teamed throughout the game, had single coverage against McKinley, and Nix slightly underthrew the ball down the left side so that only his receiver had a chance to make the catch. Tom Green |, al, "Ask and receive: Seth Williams delivers game-winner after quiet performance vs. Oregon," 1 Sep. 2019 Like the Loa water frog, most Telmatobius species are microendemic, meaning that their range is restricted to a single, small location. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "The Last 14 Loa Water Frogs Had to Be Rescued From Their Natural Habitat," 31 Aug. 2019 While lasers also use intense light and heat to treat unwanted skin issues, they're comprised of a single wavelength of light instead of a broad spectrum. Megan Gustashaw, Glamour, "I Tried an IPL Treatment to Get Rid of My Sun Spots," 31 Aug. 2019 Other family members must stay at the adjacent human shelter at Park Vista High School, with the exception of single parents with children. Brooke Baitinger,, "Hurricane shelters opening in Palm Beach County as Dorian nears Florida," 30 Aug. 2019 Christopher Andrew has praise for the way George Washington would shrewdly, serenely evaluate multiple intelligence sources, rather than relying upon a single spectacular one. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "Are Spies More Trouble Than They’re Worth?," 26 Aug. 2019 Boylan went through her last two years of medical school while a single parent. David Armstrong, ProPublica, "In Men, It’s Parkinson’s. In Women, It’s Hysteria.," 23 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Three singles, none hard enough to break glass, produced the run. Randy Mcroberts,, "IronBirds back in tie for first place after dramatic win over Brooklyn," 31 Aug. 2019 The Twins scored four runs on six hits, all singles, in the first. Lamond Pope,, "4 takeaways from the White Sox-Twins series, including another strong outing from Lucas Giolito and more milestones for Jose Abreu," 29 Aug. 2019 Second baseman Adam Frazier had four hits, all singles, and drove in two runs. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Rockies’ rally not enough as Pirates crush Colorado pitching," 29 Aug. 2019 The first-place Braves, who had no singles or doubles, have won four straight. Charles Odum,, "Caleb Smith gives up a pair of two-run homers as Braves hand Marlins their fifth straight loss," 22 Aug. 2019 She's scored a slew of hit R&B singles, remained a solid touring act and appeared on Broadway. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "Fantasia is bringing her 'Sketchbook' to Sugar Land," 19 Aug. 2019 Junis dealt with traffic on the basepaths all night, but managed to work around seven hits, all singles, a walk and two hit batters to allow just three runs in 6 1/3 innings. Kollin Miller,, "Mets beat Royals 4-1 behind deGrom, Alonso," 18 Aug. 2019 Three of Milwaukee's four hits were singles, and Minor also walked one while striking out 11 in handing the Brewers their sixth shutout loss of the season and first since July 4 at Cincinnati. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Rangers 1, Brewers 0: Mike Minor dominates Milwaukee in a pitcher's duel," 11 Aug. 2019 Scroll through for our picks of five new singles, projects, and videos that are definitely worth giving a spin this weekend. Sydney Scott, Essence, "Ari Lennox, Megan Thee Stallion And More Top This Week's Playlist," 9 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

His 16 Grand Slam singles titles rank third in men’s tennis history behind Roger Federer with 20 and Rafael Nadal with 18. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Stan Wawrinka advances as injury fells defending US Open champ Novak Djokovic," 1 Sep. 2019 Yahoo’s Pete Thamel slammed him for leaving the door open for Auburn and Jon Wilner of The SJ Mercury News woke up and singled out Cristobal in a morning rant. oregonlive, "Canzano: 10 opinions on the Oregon Ducks season opening loss to Auburn," 1 Sep. 2019 At the 2018 tournament, Naomi Osaka defeated Serena Williams to earn the women’s singles title — making her the first woman from Japan to earn a Grand Slam singles title. Time, "How to Watch the 2019 U.S. Open for Free," 24 Aug. 2019 Williams will begin another bid for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title. Brian Mahoney,, "First-round fireworks: Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova to meet at U.S. Open," 22 Aug. 2019 Hundreds of Twitter users criticized The Lancet for weighing in on the situation in Kashmir, and some accused it of singling out India for criticism. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz India, "A British journal has upset a lot of Indians by weighing in on Kashmir," 19 Aug. 2019 During a news conference in Irving, part of a three-city tour across the state Thursday, Morath singled out one of those schools for praise: Irving ISD’s Brandenburg Elementary. By Eva-marie Ayala Corbett Smith, Dallas News, "Texas schools receive new A-F grades — see how yours rated," 15 Aug. 2019 Vaqueros freshman Mark Peneff added a conference singles title, notching a 6-3, 3-0 win against Antonio Rosales of Ventura. Vincent Nguyen, Glendale News-Press, "Looking Back: Conference titles highlight 2018-2019 campaign for Glendale Community College," 9 Aug. 2019 Pham went 35-11 as a senior, including all-tournament team honors at the National High School All-American Tournament and the Surf League singles title. Matt Szabo, Daily Pilot, "Daily Pilot Boys’ Tennis Dream Team: Corona del Mar’s Kyle Pham went out big," 19 July 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

4 Sep 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

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recurring in steady succession

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