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

Devers started the inning with a single and Vazquez was credited with a double when no one covered second base on his base hit. Julian Mcwilliams,, "Hits, runs keep coming as the Red Sox hang on to top Tigers 10-6," 7 July 2019 After a walk and a lineout, Nellie Fox drilled a single to right field. Gene Myers, Detroit Free Press, "65 years ago today, Al Kaline did something amazing for the Detroit Tigers," 7 July 2019 Neither team had a hit into the fifth inning, when Yairo Muñoz ripped a single to center that nearly took some of Samardzija’s flesh into the outfield with it. Henry Schulman,, "Giants win first-half finale on strength of Samardzija’s arm, Longoria’s bat," 7 July 2019 Heath Hembree closed it out in the ninth for the Sox, though, working around a single and getting Victor Reyes to strike out swinging to end it. Julian Mcwilliams,, "Red Sox sweep Tigers, heading into break on four-game win streak," 7 July 2019 Rookie Austin Riley homered in the second, but the Atlanta offense lost its momentum after a run-scoring single by Markakis in the third gave the Braves a 4-2 lead. Charles Odum,, "Marlins rally by Braves, powered by three-run fifth inning," 7 July 2019 An adult elephant can consume up to 300 pounds of food in a single day. National Geographic, "Asian Elephant," 7 July 2019 Reds reliever Matt Bowman walked in a run and surrendered a two-run single to dash any comeback hopes in a 7-2 loss at Great American Ball Park in the first game of a two-game interleague series before the All-Star break. Bobby Nightengale,, "Home runs cost Cincinnati Reds in loss to Cleveland Indians, snaps 3-game winning streak," 5 July 2019 Reentry is allowed except for general admission single-day ticket holders. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "Everything you need to know about the 2019 Forecastle Festival in Louisville," 3 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Then the video for the aforementioned single was released, featuring a whole host of iconic LGBTQIA+ celebrity guests and ending with a link to a petition, urging the Senate to support the Equality Act. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, "Taylor Swift Will Headline Amazon's Prime Day Concert With an All-Female Lineup," 27 June 2019 She's scored a flurry of multi-genre hits, including four No. 1 singles. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "Jennifer Lopez brings the ‘Party’ to Houston," 26 June 2019 Kerr, a junior, was a first-team All-Ivy League selection after winning nine tournaments and posting a 17-12 record while playing mostly No. 1 singles. John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Alumni Report: Former Cathedral Catholic pitcher back on mound for UCLA," 13 June 2019 The 7-inch singles were in a case behind the counter. Michael Gonzales, Longreads, "It’s Like That: The Makings of a Hip-Hop Writer," 10 June 2019 Facing Rafael Nadal, on less than 24 hours rest, in the French Open men’s singles final, a match Nadal has never lost, not once, in 11 tries? Jason Gay, WSJ, "Rafael Nadal Always Has Paris," 9 June 2019 Privacy - Terms Other than Justin Bour and Martin Prado’s back-to-back doubles in the ninth, 20 of the Marlins’ hits were singles. Andre C. Fernandez, miamiherald, "Marlins snap their longest skid ever against the Nationals with a hitting barrage," 8 July 2018 The buzz: Committed to Michigan State, Mukherjee avenged a loss in last year’s state final at No. 1 singles and should be favored to win it all again next year. Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Free Press spring sports awards winners," 20 June 2018 Corsillo swept through the regular season at No. 1 singles for the school with a perfect mark of 6-0. Gary Curreri,, "Broward boys tennis player of the year: Jamie Corsillo, Pine Crest freshman," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Each one of those brand names represents an attempt to single out a specific niche and build a following. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "Why does Amazon have so many clothing brands?," 5 July 2019 When introducing the band, Vernon made sure to single out the Wisconsin origins of La Crosse native Andrew Fitzpatrick (on keys and guitar) and Lake Geneva native Sean Carey (on drums and keys). Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bon Iver officially premieres 'Hey, Ma', reimagines catalog, at Summerfest debut in Milwaukee," 30 June 2019 So far, Vermont is the only state to single out data brokers. Douglas Macmillan, Washington Post, "Data brokers are selling your secrets. How states are trying to stop them," 24 June 2019 Erin Kreis didn’t expect to be singled out at Catonsville High’s graduation ceremony. Cody Boteler,, "Catonsville High School graduate wins first scholarship in memory of Verletta White's mother," 19 June 2019 The Historical Society would particularly like to single out several individuals or businesses that helped make this year’s event a big success., "Community News For The Hebron Edition," 13 June 2019 Not that Bakich needed to single out the junior lefty from Portage Northern High School. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "How Michigan baseball's College World Series run is changing legacy of program," 12 June 2019 But now, for the first time, a case is moving forward where DNA was used to single out a suspect not from a match within CODIS, but from clues inside a public repository of spit kit results uploaded by genealogy enthusiasts. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "A Murder Trial Will Allow DNA Evidence From a Genealogy Site," 11 June 2019 This isn't the first time in recent memory that TripAdvisor has singled out Southern destinations for their vacation appeal. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "WATCH: TripAdvisor Says These Are the Perfect Southern Cities for Vacation Rentals," 14 June 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

10 Jul 2019

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 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

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