so·​lo | \ ˈsō-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce solo (audio) \
plural solos

Definition of solo

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 or plural soli\ ˈsō-​(ˌ)lē How to pronounce solo (audio) \
a : a musical composition for a single voice or instrument with or without accompaniment
b : the featured part of a concerto or similar work
2 : a performance in which the performer has no partner or associate : something undertaken or done alone a student pilot's first solo
3 : any of several card games in which a player elects to play without a partner against the other players



Definition of solo (Entry 2 of 4)

: without a companion : alone fly solo



Definition of solo (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : accommodating one person a solo canoe
2 : of, relating to, or being a solo a solo performance a solo flight
3 : hit with no runners on base a solo home run


soloed; soloing\ ˈsō-​(ˌ)lō-​iŋ How to pronounce solo (audio) , -​lə-​wiŋ \

Definition of solo (Entry 4 of 4)

intransitive verb

: to perform by oneself: such as
a : to perform a musical solo
b : to fly an airplane without one's instructor on board

transitive verb

1 : to fly (an aircraft) alone
2 : to climb (something, such as a mountain) alone

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Synonyms & Antonyms for solo

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of solo in a Sentence

Noun She is learning to fly and she flew her first solo yesterday. Adjective a student pilot's first solo flight She left the band last year and started a solo career. He just issued his first solo album. Verb The guitarist solos on practically every song. She soloed for the first time yesterday.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But last year, the pandemic sent Tucker, who had just retired from a long career in solo, death-defying performances, into a kind of tailspin. Washington Post, "Smithsonian Air and Space Museum lands famed aerobatic plane," 10 May 2021 Springer tied it at 5 with his seventh-inning solo shot off Luke Jackson. Mark Didtler, ajc, "Grichuk single in 10th, Springer 2 HRs as Jays beat Braves," 2 May 2021 Springer tied it at 5 with his seventh-inning solo shot off Luke Jackson. Mark Didtler, Star Tribune, "Grichuk single in 10th, Springer 2 HRs as Jays beat Braves," 1 May 2021 Graham started 22 consecutive games at tackle over the past two seasons, recording 54 tackles (28 solo), 19.0 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Falcons draft Texas DT Ta'Quon Graham in fifth round," 1 May 2021 Brown made 11 starts in 2019, recording 21 total tackles, including eight solo, which bested his freshman year performance of 14 total tackles. Dallas News, "Area TXHSFB players taken on Day 3 of NFL draft, including athletes from Arlington Lamar, Denton Ryan, Allen and more," 1 May 2021 The 6-foot, 238-pounder was a three-year starter and exhausted all four years of eligibility, leading the Boilermakers with 54 tackles (40 solo) in 2020. Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "Derrick Barnes drafted by Detroit Lions: Went from two-star recruit to All-Big Ten player," 1 May 2021 A few minutes later, Sasha took the stage and performed her solo. Chloe Angyal, Marie Claire, "The Unbearable Whiteness of Ballet," 22 Apr. 2021 While her solo positioning in the chapel was largely due to social-distancing guidelines, the sight of the diminutive queen, who on Wednesday celebrates her 95th birthday, sitting alone still caused many to reflect on the immensity of her loss. Laurie Brookins, Robb Report, "The Touching Story Behind the Brooch Queen Elizabeth Wore to Prince Philip’s Funeral," 21 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Today, an oil might be offered solo in a stand-alone bottle, for D.I.Y. experimentation, or swirled into golden formulas that smell of flowers. New York Times, "How Botanical Oils Won Over the West," 7 May 2021 The plan rests on four pillars, each of which could be adopted solo in its own right but all of which make for synergy gains thanks to mutual complementarities. Robert Hockett, Forbes, "‘Building Back Better’ Phase Two – Time Now To Jumpstart Domestic Production," 3 Mar. 2021 The song, which Jenkins wrote solo, becomes the fourth No. 1 for the act, among eight top 10s. Jim Asker, Billboard, "Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago Top Gospel Airplay Chart With 'Make It Alright'," 25 Feb. 2021 Available in more than two dozen sizes, the braided rug comes in four hues (natural, off-white, black and navy) and can be styled solo or with another rug layered on top. Courtney Thompson, CNN Underscored, "22 area rugs guaranteed to brighten every space in your home," 18 Feb. 2021 Johnny Miller tied for second in 1971, ’75 and ’81, and Venturi took solo second in 1956 and ’60. Ron Kroichick, San Francisco Chronicle, "S.F. native Will Zalatoris makes strong statement: He's a major threat," 11 Apr. 2021 Past guests include a tech entrepreneur in Senegal (Ndeye Amy Kebe), the first woman to motorcycle solo across Pakistan (Zenith Irfan), the founder of Afghanistan’s first-ever coding school for girls (Fereshteh Forough), and more. Bridget Arsenault, Forbes, "How To Experience Culture, Cuisine And More In London," 9 Apr. 2021 Stardust suggests working on things solo right now, and focusing on your needs and desires without anyone else interfering. Elizabeth Gulino,, "The New Moon In Aries Is Bringing A Supercharged Start To Spring," 9 Apr. 2021 He was followed by Phil Kenzie’s alto saxophone solo. Marc Myers, WSJ, "How Bob Dylan and a Bogart Movie Inspired Al Stewart’s Rock Classic," 7 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Tristalyn Lee started the fifth inning charge with a triple. Rock Hill (27-6), ranked No. 3 in The News’ Class 5A/Others area poll, rallied from a 2-0 deficit, starting with a solo homer by Spriggs in the third inning. Dallas News, "Playoff softball playoff roundup: Prosper escapes against Denton Guyer, Hallsville snaps Royse City’s 16 game win streak," 13 May 2021 But beyond its cool cachet, knitting is essentially a solo act, one with therapeutic properties. Tiziana Cardini, Vogue, "These Summery Hand-Knits Can Be Made to Order via Instagram," 30 Apr. 2021 Harris, who did his first Simply Elton show in 2012, has performed a solo act for intimate gigs that often include requests and with the Mad Hatters Band for bigger concerts throughout the United States including Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. Jessi Virtusio,, "Simply Elton pays tribute to Sir Elton John’s long career and legendary music catalog," 18 Mar. 2021 Wallenda rejoined the family troupe in 1965, replacing an aunt who died doing a solo act. NBC News, "Carla Wallenda, member of 'The Flying Wallendas' high-wire act, dies at 85," 9 Mar. 2021 Wallenda rejoined the family troupe in 1965, replacing an aunt who died doing a solo act. Terry Spencer, Star Tribune, "Carla Wallenda, member of famed high-wire act, dies at 85," 7 Mar. 2021 For years, Jones performed as a solo act, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar. Matt Wake |, al, "Next wave Alabama musicians: An R&B songstress to watch," 17 Dec. 2020 Means went seven innings on 93 pitches and hardly had a blemish, with a pair of runs coming on solo home runs and just three hits and a walk allowed. Jon Meoli,, "John Means spectacular again as Orioles hang on for 3-2 win over Oakland," 1 May 2021 In 2018, singer/guitarist Theresa Wayman released her debut solo project, LoveLaws, under the name TT. Emily Zemler, Rolling Stone, "Hear Warpaint’s Dreamy New Song ‘Lilys’," 30 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Airbnb has a whole host of online experiences, from cooking classes with virtual chefs to solo scavenger hunts that can be done in your own living room. Anna Borges, SELF, "13 Things to Do on Your Birthday Alone," 22 Oct. 2020 Still, the program is less financially friendly to solo ticket buyers or couples. James Hibberd,, "Theater chain's 'massively successful' COVID-19 strategy: You buy every seat," 24 Sep. 2020 There was a big portfolio of issues that solo workers face that not many of us knew how to deal with, or how to access support for, if indeed support existed. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, "The Coronavirus Economy: The cookbook author writing a book on working alone," 26 May 2020 There have been a few previous studies looking at affective feelings in different contexts, including one by Arturo Casado, a former world-class miler from Spain, that compared group to solo running in interval workouts. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, "Why Hard Exercise Feels Worse When You’re Alone," 26 Apr. 2020 For some people, that may be best, but there are a number of excellent tour operators that cater to solo travelers. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "10 Mistakes You Might Make When Traveling Solo — and How to Avoid Them (Video)," 8 Apr. 2020 The 12-minute jam featured different members of the house band soloing, with Oxenhorn surprising everyone with her down-and-dirty harp performance. Bryan Reesman, Billboard, "Harry Belafonte and Tony Bennett Honored at 30th JFA Gala at Apollo Theater," 5 Apr. 2019 After throwing in a few initial surges to break apart the lead pack, at around the 20-mile mark Rupp put a decisive gap between himself and what remained of his competition before soloing his way to victory in 2:09:20. Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online, "The Many Surprises of the Olympic Marathon Trials," 2 Mar. 2020 Feeling accountable to our running buddies or fellow yogis keeps us motivated and committed to our routines in ways that solo sessions often don’t. Sarah Todd, Quartz, "The psychological and social benefits of online workouts," 28 Apr. 2020

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


1695, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1712, in the meaning defined above


1774, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1886, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for solo


Italian, from solo alone, from Latin solus

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Statistics for solo

Last Updated

13 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Solo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for solo



English Language Learners Definition of solo

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a piece of music that is performed by one singer or musician
: something that is done without another person



English Language Learners Definition of solo (Entry 2 of 3)

: done without another person
: involving or done by a single performer instead of a group
baseball : hit with no runners on base



English Language Learners Definition of solo (Entry 3 of 3)

: to perform a piece of music without another singer or musician
: to fly an airplane without an instructor


so·​lo | \ ˈsō-lō How to pronounce solo (audio) \
plural solos

Kids Definition of solo

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a piece of music performed by one singer or musician a piano solo
2 : an action done alone The pilot flew his first solo.


adverb or adjective

Kids Definition of solo (Entry 2 of 3)

: without another person : alone fly solo a solo dancer


soloed; soloing

Kids Definition of solo (Entry 3 of 3)

: to do something (as perform music or fly an airplane) alone or without an instructor

More from Merriam-Webster on solo

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for solo

Nglish: Translation of solo for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of solo for Arabic Speakers

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