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 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 Mertens crosses, and Fellaini is there, single covered by Pogba, with the head that has scored so many goals. Rory Smith, New York Times, "France, With Flash to Spare, Reaches the World Cup Final," 11 July 2018 The show set single-day sales records at the Goodspeed when tickets went on sale in May, nearly doubling the previous record. Christopher Arnott,, "Goodspeed Extends Run Of 'Cyrano,' Starring Peter Dinklage," 13 July 2018 The lines at Louisville’s lone Build-A-Bear shop were downright ... un-bear-able ... in the morning as kids and parents lined up around the block to take advantage of the unprecedented single-day promotion. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Build-A-Bear promotion made families wait hours – and then it closed," 12 July 2018 Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley III, coupled with the Lakers' summer-league opener, this past Saturday was the second single-day sellout in summer-league history. Kirk A. Bado, azcentral, "NBA Summer League bets on importance of engaging off the court," 11 July 2018 Tickets are $79 to $89 for single-day general admission passes and $109 to $129 for three-day general admission passes. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Colby Cheese Days, Hodag Country Festival and more to do around Wisconsin this week," 8 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

When third baseman Adrián Beltré committed a throwing error on Tim Beckham’s soft single in the sixth, one of three Rangers errors, the Orioles (27-69) had their first base runner perched within 90 feet of home plate on the night. Katherine Fominykh,, "Orioles ride rookie Yefry Ramírez to beat error-riddled Rangers, 1-0," 15 July 2018 The Wimbledon men's singles final is back to deuce. Sam Farmer,, "Djokovic Wins Another Marathon, Defeating Nadal In Wimbledon Semifinal," 14 July 2018 Fellow countryman Marcus Wills assumes the men’s singles slot in a move from New York. Glae Thien,, "Abigail Spears’ net worth is still on upswing in tennis," 13 July 2018 In the fifth, Pujols' single moved him past Carew on the all-time hits list. Jim Reineking, USA TODAY, "Albert Pujols ties Ken Griffey Jr. on career HR list, ties Rickey Henderson on career hits," 13 July 2018 The fact that our knee jerk reaction to a woman becoming single is one of exhilarated empowerment rather than pity or dismay shows that minds have been changed, even slightly. Kathryn Lindsay,, "Why Be Engaged When You Can Be An Ex?," 13 July 2018 With the tides shifting in the medical community, the pharmaceutical industry, and mainstream culture, the Supreme Court finally legalized contraception for married couples in 1965; singles got to join the party in 1972. Carolyn Todd, Allure, "The History and Evolution of Birth Control in America," 12 July 2018 Edwin Alvarez, Alex Gasbarro and Matt Zahora added RBI singles. Pat Disabato, Daily Southtown, "Cleaning up: Matt Dornbos drives in three runs as St. Laurence tops H-F for summer baseball regional title," 11 July 2018 The Astros struck five singles against Frankie Montas and the two relievers who followed him. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros held scoreless in loss to A's," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Starlin Castro singled home Garrett Cooper to give the Marlins their sixth walk-off win of the season and second of the series. Matthew Defranks,, "A Closer Look: Miami Marlins 5, Milwaukee Brewers 4 (12 innings)," 12 July 2018 The stock of Harley has been hurt, but not crushed, since the company was singled out by Trump. Paul Gores, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Tariff fights bring what most companies try to avoid: Uncertainty," 27 June 2018 Torres singled and Thorburn reached on error with one out. Randy Mcroberts, The Aegis, "Aberdeen's attempt for sweep slips away early in lopsided loss to Vermont," 27 June 2018 Kendrick singles out another element worth comparing: the silence between exchanges. Joshua Rapp Learn, Smithsonian, "Some Animals Take Turns While Talking, Just Like Humans. Why?," 20 June 2018 Syria, another country singled out by Trump's travel restrictions, narrowly missed out on the final day of qualifying last year for the 2018 event. Andrew Das, Anchorage Daily News, "How three letters from Trump might bring the World Cup to the U.S.," 12 June 2018 Tomo singled out singer Jared Leto and his brother drummer Shannon for praise. Mackenzie Cummings-grady, Billboard, "30 Seconds To Mars Guitarist Tomo Milicevic Quits: 'This is a Good Thing And Will Be Good For Everyone'," 12 June 2018 Take ZTE Corp, the Chinese telecoms company singled out by the US government for evading sanctions on Iran and North Korea. Michael Holtz, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why the US and China settled for a trade truce," 23 May 2018 One of the coaches singled out by Wasson was cornerbacks coach Clint Fuller. Stefan Stevenson, star-telegram, "Former Carroll football coach was warned about behavior a year before his resignation | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 8 May 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

18 Sep 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).


a magnificent or impressive array

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