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

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 Someone dying from a medication side effect is devastating, but the FDA’s singular focus on agranulocytosis is myopic. Brian Barnett, STAT, 9 May 2022 In the fall of 2016, under the cover of darkness, Jessica Reznicek had a singular focus: to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Lucien Bruggeman, ABC News, 28 Apr. 2022 Geoff Dardia was already forging within him the singular focus of becoming an American commando, and earning him a placement within the ranks of the most elite military combat specialists in the world. Ian Douglass, Men's Health, 28 Apr. 2022 Because of its singular focus on streaming subscriptions, Netflix was always destined to be especially bedeviled by churn. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, 22 Apr. 2022 Donaldson did not want to comment on the record about the breakup, citing Spidell’s privacy, yet Tyson says Donaldson’s singular focus on work was a major contributing factor. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 19 Apr. 2022 Hawk’s singular focus and fearlessness at mastering new tricks astonished even fellow professional skateboarders. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Apr. 2022 Once the suggestion was made, specialized fundraisers set a singular goal: build relationships with the donors to make sure the money flows to the hospital after their deaths. David Armstrong, ProPublica, 21 Mar. 2022 For years, the actor Tom Arnold occupied himself with a singular goal: ending Donald Trump’s presidency. Washington Post, 22 Feb. 2022 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,, 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, 22 Aug. 2020 See More

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.

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

Learn More About singular

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 2022

Cite this Entry

“Singular.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for singular


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

More from Merriam-Webster on singular

Nglish: Translation of singular for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of singular for Arabic Speakers


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