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

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of single in a Sentence

Adjective 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. Noun He hit a single to right field. Do you want to play singles or doubles? Verb He singled to right field.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The first victim was found on the first floor of the two-story single family home, according to Witty. Mary Grace Keller,, "Man, woman die in Sykesville house fire; no smoke detectors found, fire marshal says," 8 Nov. 2019 Variety has confirmed that the single-cam sitcom is set to end with its current sixth season, with an hour-long series finale set to air on Feb. 21. NBC News, "'Fresh Off the Boat' to end after six seasons," 8 Nov. 2019 Collectively, the atoms weigh about a thousandth of a single bacterium. Wired, "A Scientist's Tiny Black Hole Brings the Cosmos Into the Lab," 8 Nov. 2019 On November 26, Sotheby's London will offer 12 one-of-a-kind Hemmerle pieces for sale, the largest single-owner collection of Hemmerle ever to appear at auction. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "A Trove of Rare Hemmerle Pieces—One of Jewelry's Holy Grails—Comes Up for Auction," 8 Nov. 2019 Tetrodotoxin, the chemical weapon of choice for pufferfish, is such a potent neurotoxin that a single animal contains enough poison to paralyze and kill dozens of predators, and even adult humans who dare to eat their delicate flesh. Jake Buehler, Science | AAAS, "Deadly pufferfish poison relieves stress in deadly pufferfish," 8 Nov. 2019 New research suggests Pheidole oxyops ants sometimes place feathers around their underground nest's single entrance as bait for other creatures, which then tumble in. Joshua Rapp Learn, Scientific American, "Brazilian Ants Build Unusual Trap for Bugs," 8 Nov. 2019 Everyone who spoke Thursday — Guzan, Larentowicz, Gressel and Michael Parkhurst — agreed the single-elimination tournament provides more action that could draw in casual fans. Chris Fuhrmeister, Pro Soccer USA, "Atlanta United players find pros and cons in new MLS Cup playoffs format," 7 Nov. 2019 Of all the issues cities face, public safety is the single most important. B Kyle, Twin Cities, "B. Kyle: Safety is key to a strong downtown and a vibrant St. Paul," 7 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun His side have gone on to win every single away game since, with the seven consecutive wins coming in the Premier League and Champions League., "Chelsea Equal 30-Year-Old Club Record With Stylish Win Over Watford," 2 Nov. 2019 Back to back singles by Yordan Alvarez and Carlos Correa then put Scherzer in a tight spot. Benjamin Hoffman, New York Times, "Nationals Win Their First World Series With One Last Rally," 30 Oct. 2019 The 19-year-old, who became Canada's first ever grand slam singles winner after triumphing at the US Open in September, was forced to retire at 3-6 against Karolina Pliskova. Ravi Ubha, CNN, "Svitolina advances at WTA Finals as injured Andreescu eliminated," 30 Oct. 2019 Yuli Gurriel also drove in a run in the first as Houston strung together four singles in a seven-pitch span for a 2-0 lead against Patrick Corbin. Ronald Blum,, "Urquidy, Bregman lead Astros over Nats 8-1, tie Series 2-2," 27 Oct. 2019 Yuli Gurriel also drove in a run in the first as Houston strung together four singles in a seven-pitch span for a 2-0 lead against Patrick Corbin. Ronald Blum, The Denver Post, "Astros pound Nats 8-1, even World Series 2-2," 26 Oct. 2019 Delaney Schurhamer lost the first game of her Class 2A state girls tennis second round singles matchup with Robbinsdale Armstrong’s Nicole Snezhko on Thursday at Baseline Tennis Center. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "High school tennis: Dominant Delaney Schurhamer of Woodbury is enjoying her state tournament moment," 24 Oct. 2019 In 2001 over 95% of American sales came in that format, thanks to the prominence of the CD and the cassette, which were rarely sold as singles. J.t., The Economist, "The iPod at 18: the gadget that changed music and tech for ever," 23 Oct. 2019 In singles action, each starting Crescenta Valley player won two sets. Vincent Nguyen, Glendale News-Press, "Singles domination powers Crescenta Valley girls’ tennis past Glendale," 22 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Gustafsson is just one of many players who are having rough starts, so don’t view singling him out as being only about his play. Jimmy Greenfield,, "Column: Trading Erik Gustafsson would help the Blackhawks begin their future when it needs to — now," 3 Nov. 2019 And now here was the pastor, singling him out special. Tiphanie Yanique, The New Yorker, "God’s Caravan," 28 Oct. 2019 Ham was put on paid leave just days after an audit singled her out in detailing a rift within the ranks of those responsible for rooting out fraud. Ryan Faircloth, Twin Cities, "MN DHS revamps troubled office that investigates child care fraud. ‘Extremely impressed,’ one critic says.," 27 Oct. 2019 LeMahieu singled in the fifth to break a streak of eight straight Greinke sat down. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros win Game 4, push Yankees to brink of elimination," 18 Oct. 2019 And the French seem to have singled out America’s big technology firms. The Economist, "France is giving unilateralism a go," 22 Aug. 2019 From the start, Tate was singled out by her sheer potential. Elena Nicolaou,, "Everything You Need To Know About Sharon Tate's Life — Not Death," 25 July 2019 Joe Crowley, and then took aim at PolitiFact and The Washington Post fact-check unit for supposedly singling her out. Fox News, "PolitiFact stands by AOC 'parking lot' fact-check after online mockery," 24 July 2019 Park said Amatullo was looking to pick a fight with the boys and singled them out because of their race, later trying to claim self-defense despite initiating the encounter., "Portland man convicted of hate crimes for yelling slurs at young boys, threatening them with knife," 17 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

13 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for single

The first known use of single was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for single


How to pronounce single (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for single

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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