sin·​gly | \ ˈsiŋ-g(ə-)lē How to pronounce singly (audio) \

Definition of singly

1 : without the company of others : individually

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Examples of singly in a Sentence

The birds can be seen singly or in groups. either singly or with the cooperation of other nations, we must do something about this pressing environmental issue
Recent Examples on the Web In August and through autumn, gray squirrels store acorns, walnuts and other nuts singly in small holes dug in the ground. Jim Gilbert Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Eating and storing food are a squirrel's life in late autumn," 3 Dec. 2020 Both poetry and prayer use words and phrases, singly or in repetition, to draw us out of ourselves and toward a different kind of perception. Ruth Franklin, The New Yorker, "How Paul Celan Reconceived Language for a Post-Holocaust World," 16 Nov. 2020 The participants were given four drugs singly or in combination: remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir, interferon or interferon plus lopinavir. Gina Kolata, New York Times, "Remdesivir Fails to Prevent Covid-19 Deaths in Huge Trial," 15 Oct. 2020 The droplets can be spread through sneezing, coughing, or speaking or singly loudly. Mike Hutton,, "Hutton: Starting football on time has been a big win for the IHSAA, players and coaches," 9 Sep. 2020 Females lay several hundred eggs in spring and summer that are connected to the end of long whisker-like silk stalks (singly or in clusters) on limbs, twigs, leaves, or even inorganic objects such as the front door or equipment in the shed. Howard Garrett, Dallas News, "Desirable but delicate, lacewings are your garden’s friend," 3 Aug. 2020 So instead of the Chekhov’s gun explanation that of course a global ice-over must singly explain the great anomaly found beneath it, the reality could be a coincidental combination of several different causes. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "So, Uh, Where Did a Billion Years of the Geologic Record Go?," 28 May 2020 Scores of women protested the bills in Warsaw on Tuesday, observing social distancing by driving singly in cars or by riding bicycles. Vanessa Gera,, "Polish government divided on ‘Draconian’ abortion, sex education bills," 15 Apr. 2020 That’s because in the world of Sondheim, feelings never come singly but in battalions. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Stephen Sondheim, the Man Who Felt Too Much," 12 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'singly.' 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 singly

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for singly

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Singly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for singly



English Language Learners Definition of singly

formal : without another


sin·​gly | \ ˈsiŋ-gə-lē How to pronounce singly (audio) , ˈsiŋ-glē \

Kids Definition of singly

: one by one : individually

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