sin·​gu·​lar | \ˈsiŋ-gyə-lər \

Definition of singular 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of or relating to a separate person or thing : individual

b : of, relating to, or being a word form denoting one person, thing, or instance a singular noun

c : of or relating to a single instance or to something considered by itself

2 : distinguished by superiority : exceptional an artist of singular attainments

3 : being out of the ordinary : unusual on the way home we had a singular adventure

4 : departing from general usage or expectation : peculiar, odd the air had a singular chill

5a of a matrix : having a determinant equal to zero

b of a linear transformation : having the property that the matrix of coefficients of the new variables has a determinant equal to zero



Definition of singular (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the singular number, the inflectional form denoting it, or a word in that form

2 : a singular term

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from singular


singularly adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for singular


strange, singular, unique, peculiar, eccentric, erratic, odd, quaint, outlandish mean departing from what is ordinary, usual, or to be expected. strange stresses unfamiliarity and may apply to the foreign, the unnatural, the unaccountable. a journey filled with strange sights singular suggests individuality or puzzling strangeness. a singular feeling of impending disaster unique implies singularity and the fact of being without a known parallel. a career unique in the annals of science peculiar implies a marked distinctiveness. the peculiar status of America's first lady eccentric suggests a wide divergence from the usual or normal especially in behavior. the eccentric eating habits of preschoolers erratic stresses a capricious and unpredictable wandering or deviating. a friend's suddenly erratic behavior odd applies to a departure from the regular or expected. an odd sense of humor quaint suggests an old-fashioned but pleasant oddness. a quaint fishing village outlandish applies to what is uncouth, bizarre, or barbaric. outlandish fashions of the time

Examples of singular in a Sentence


In the phrase “his car is red,” the word “car” is a singular noun. He had a singular appearance.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Glenelg girls lacrosse enters every season with a singular goal: state championship or bust. Kyle Stackpole, Howard County Times, "Glenelg girls lacrosse wins second straight county title," 5 May 2018 The cemetery’s foundation is in control of programming, with a singular goal of helping visitors discover all the art, culture and beauty of not only the gravesites themselves, but the entire 270 acres of park-like grounds. Jennifer Billock, Smithsonian, "From Yoga to Movie Nights: How Cemeteries Are Trying to Attract the Living," 22 Mar. 2018 America’s failings are treated as singular, not its promise. Edward Rothstein, WSJ, "A New Gateway to the West," 2 July 2018 The lens is singular and biased, and perhaps blind to any foreshadowing that would have created greater anticipation of the event. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "Theater Can Be Dishearteningly Inaccessible. Carey Mulligan’s Devastating New Play Is Changing That.," 27 June 2018 Bruno Mars is the most obvious, and singular, exception to this trend. Dj Louie Xiv, Vanities, "Has 2018 Killed the Pop Star?," 22 June 2018 But that simple, straightforward term for something singular and wonderful beyond expectations is perhaps the best word to describe U2's Monday (June 11) night concert at the incomparable Apollo Theater in Harlem. Joe Lynch, Billboard, "U2 Brings Out the Sun Ra Arkestra, Pays Tribute to Anthony Bourdain at Legendary Apollo Theater," 13 June 2018 The term pentas is used as the singular and plural form. Dan Gill,, "What is the proper name for Pentas?," 24 Feb. 2018 Diplomats say Trump's singular focus on the 2 percent benchmark might be counterproductive. Gregory Korte, USA TODAY, "As he arrives at NATO summit, President Trump hounds allies over 'delinquent' defense spending," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'singular.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of singular


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for singular


Middle English singuler, from Anglo-French, from Latin singularis, from singulus only one — more at single

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about singular

Statistics for singular

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for singular

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for singular



English Language Learners Definition of singular

grammar : showing or indicating no more than one thing

: better or greater than what is usual or normal

: strange or odd


sin·​gu·​lar | \ˈsiŋ-gyə-lər \

Kids Definition of singular

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or being a word form used to show not more than one person or thing The singular form of “calves” is “calf.”

2 : superior entry 1 sense 2, exceptional He showed singular poise.

3 : of unusual quality We had a singular experience.

4 : strange sense 2, odd A wind was rising and making a singular, wild, low, rushing sound.— Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden



Kids Definition of singular (Entry 2 of 2)

: a form of a word used to show that only one person or thing is meant

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on singular

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for singular

Spanish Central: Translation of singular

Nglish: Translation of singular for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of singular for Arabic Speakers

Comments on singular

What made you want to look up singular? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!