singular

adjective
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

singular

noun

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

Adjective

singularly adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for singular

Adjective

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

Céline thrived under Phoebe Philo’s singular vision. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "The Calvin Klein brand hired big-name fashion designer Raf Simons to build relevancy. Now he’s out.," 27 Dec. 2018 That is, momentarily, at least, until your eyes focus back on the retail 'islands' boasting multiple-sized versions of actual gypsum dessert roses, a perfectly singular souvenir from this one-0f-a-kind shop. Whitney Robinson, ELLE Decor, "Is This the Most Beautiful Museum Gift Shop in the World?," 19 Apr. 2019 His ability to creatively dribble the basketball is so singular that The Boston Globe found last year that video game makers had trouble duplicating it. New York Times, "Kyrie Irving Doesn’t Know if the Earth Is Round or Flat. He Does Want to Discuss It.," 8 June 2018 The best DJs already reinterpret popular songs by mixing several different elements together in new ways to create a singular live experience. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "New wearable tech lets users listen to live music through their skin," 25 Nov. 2018 Spain will attempt to win in its singular style by preventing opponents from ever touching the ball. Roger Bennett, WSJ, "Why You Should Watch the World Cup," 11 May 2018 Among the most singular examples are the Farnsworth House in Plano, Ill., designed by Mr. Mies van der Rohe and built in 1951, and The Glass House, Mr. Johnson’s New Canaan, Conn., residence, completed in 1949. ... Adrienne Gaffney, WSJ, "An Insiders’ View of Glass Houses," 7 Feb. 2019 The conservation project — including the grounds and, crucially, thousands of Hemingway papers — stands out as a singular example of cooperation between longtime adversaries, the United States and Cuba. Patrick J. Mcdonnell, latimes.com, "Preservation effort makes Hemingway's Cuba home look like he never left," 30 May 2018 Foot’s short paper offers the contemporary reader a more nuanced approach to thinking about the moral scenarios involving autonomous vehicles than does the singular tram example, which became known as the trolley problem. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Enough With the Trolley Problem," 30 Mar. 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.

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First Known Use of singular

Adjective

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for singular

Adjective

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

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Statistics for singular

Last Updated

30 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for singular

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

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More Definitions for singular

singular

adjective

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

singular

adjective
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

singular

noun

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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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

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