sin·​gu·​lar | \ ˈsiŋ-gyə-lər How to pronounce singular (audio) \

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

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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

Adjective 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 His angle of vision has been singular and fixed—literally so, with a camera that refuses to budge. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "The Small Worlds of “About Endlessness”," 30 Apr. 2021 No singular or even collective purchasing decision can rid the world of Amazon. Michelle Santiago Cortés,, "Small Businesses Are Thriving On Social Media & That’s Making People Mad," 22 Apr. 2021 Of course, the retreat is a singular, and pricy, experience; the meals were nutritionally precise and hyper-local, all prepared and exactingly plated by a world-famous auteur chef. Hannah Walhout, Travel + Leisure, "This Food-focused Wellness Retreat Might Help You Rethink Your Idea of 'Healthy' Eating," 17 Apr. 2021 Her homes were as singular and precise as her writing. New York Times, "Carol Prisant, Elegant Design Writer, Dies at 82," 15 Apr. 2021 Her voice is singular and confident, focused and downright arresting at times. Alicia Lutes, USA TODAY, "Imbolo Mbue's passionate new novel 'How Beautiful We Were' is going to grab you," 8 Mar. 2021 But Emma Corrin, the actress who portrayed Diana, chose another stone, perhaps in homage to one of Diana’s even more beloved pieces, one that became her signature and an emblem of her singular and independent style. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "Emma Corrin Channels Princess Diana With Emerald Jewelry at the Golden Globes," 1 Mar. 2021 That’s the thing: This is very likely a singular and maybe once-a-career roll of the dice for Seidler and GM A.J. Preller. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Padres chairman: Financial push for Fernando Tatis ‘completely sustainable’," 18 Feb. 2021 As the military attaché to the United States, his position had been singular and of the greatest import. Elliot Ackerman, Wired, "2034, Part IV: The Spratly Islands Ambush," 16 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The former's singular, PEN/Faulkner Award-winning novel Behold the Dreamers concerns the collapse of Lehman Brothers; the latter has written three books centered largely on Pan-American communities. Seija Rankin,, "The Conversation: Imbolo Mbue and Patricia Engel discuss the pull of home in How Beautiful We Were and Infinite Country," 9 Mar. 2021 But the Jazz found the convincing means by which to keep the former singular and the latter plural, getting a second huge victory in three days. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Gordon Monson: The Utah Jazz are killing the Denver Nuggets, and the Nuggets know it," 22 Aug. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for singular

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for singular

Last Updated

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Singular.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for singular



English Language Learners Definition of singular

grammar : showing or indicating no more than one thing
formal : better or greater than what is usual or normal
literary : strange or odd


sin·​gu·​lar | \ ˈsiŋ-gyə-lər How to pronounce singular (audio) \

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

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