so·lo | \ˈsō-(ˌ)lō \
plural solos

Definition of solo 

(Entry 1 of 4)

1 or plural soli\ˈsō-(ˌ)lē \

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, -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

alone, lone, lonely, lonesome, single, solitary, unaccompanied

Antonyms: Adjective


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Examples of solo in a Sentence


She is learning to fly and she flew her first solo yesterday.


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.


The guitarist solos on practically every song. She soloed for the first time yesterday.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Who to meet Larry Horowitz will open a solo exhibition at Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art 6-8 p.m. May 31. charlotteobserver, "What’s up this week in Charlotte’s visual arts? | Charlotte Observer," 22 May 2018 Alfaro lined a two-run double in the fourth inning to open a 4-0 lead and crushed a solo homer to straightaway center field in the sixth. Scott Lauber,, "Nick Pivetta picks up much-needed win in Phillies' victory over Orioles," 12 July 2018 More Tigers: Starting off: Fulmer had a rough start, allowing a solo homer to Jurickson Profar in the first inning and two more runs in the second. George Stoia, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers shut out by Texas Rangers, 3-0; Michael Fulmer now 3-8," 8 July 2018 LeBlanc, a former Angel with a fastball that barely reaches the upper 80s, gave up a solo homer to Andrelton Simmons and little else through seven innings. Jeff Miller,, "Shohei Ohtani returns to lineup but Angels offense does little in 4-1 loss," 4 July 2018 The hit further sparked a five-run rally that started when Mike Moustakas led off the frame with a solo homer. Maria Torres, kansascity, "Royals' Mondesi is playing with confidence. A connection to a lost friend has helped," 27 June 2018 David Peralta connected for a two-run shot in the first, followed by a solo homer by John Ryan Murphy an inning later. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Clay Buchholz exits early as Diamondbacks sweep Pirates," 24 June 2018 Texas Tech got two of those runs back in the ninth when Rheams belted a solo leadoff homer and Farhart drove in his third run with a single. Randy Rosetta, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville baseball eliminated from NCAAs with loss to Texas Tech," 3 June 2018 But in the seventh, Kevin Kiermaier — who hit a solo home run in the third to open the scoring — had an infield single for his third hit of the day. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers takeaways from loss to Rays: They simply can't hit," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Arianna and Emily talk with Normani about going solo, future collaborations, and black women being more than a trend on the red carpet at the Billboard Awards. Shannon Carlin,, "Beyoncé's Advice To Normani Was Life Altering," 21 May 2018 Nieblas has even traveled solo via airplane at least four times in the past two years, with assistance from accommodating airlines, like Alaska and United Air. Sarah Schreiber, Good Housekeeping, "Mom Is Outraged After Airline Tries to Charge a Ridiculous Fee to Help Her Autistic Son," 19 Oct. 2016 Trump last appeared solo before reporters in February 2017, less than a month into his presidency. Catherine Lucey, The Seattle Times, "Trump holds solo news conference, defends bashing press," 9 June 2018 Jason Wood, who spent nine years at JPMorgan JPM -0.91% Chase & Co., went solo in 2013. Liz Hoffman, WSJ, "Upstarts Crash Wall Street’s $7 Billion Capital-Markets Party," 25 June 2018 Turner got his start as part of an English hardcore band before going solo with an acoustic guitar. James Sullivan,, "Frank Turner comes to town for six nights of not being a role model," 21 June 2018 Sia, a native of Australia, sang in an acid jazz band called Crisp and performed backup vocals for Jamiroquai before going solo. Jack Flemming,, "Singer Sia sells her Echo Park bungalow for $980,000," 4 June 2018 Eventually the two each went solo, and Pusha signed with GOOD Music, a notable record label founded by Kanye West in 2004 and boasting a litany of famed artists from Common to Big Sean to Kid Cudi. Aja Romano, Vox, "Pusha T vs. Drake: the long history of rap’s feud of the moment," 31 May 2018 The group became a huge success, and Cabello ended up going solo. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "Kelly Clarkson and Simon Cowell Had an ‘American Idol’ Reunion at the Billboard Awards," 21 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Naturally, orchestral and solo-piano music dominates the set. David Mermelstein, WSJ, "‘Debussy: His First Performers’ Review: Rare Restoration," 19 June 2018 Her new title was revealed after her first solo public appearance at an event. Fox News, "Kim Jong Un shoves photographer out of way of wife, Ri Sol Ju, at Korean summit, video shows," 2 May 2018 The instrumental forces varied from solo piano to small chamber ensemble — with, interestingly, not a single vocal work among them. Peter Dobrin,, "Network for New Music's Linda Reichert feted with new works," 30 Apr. 2018 There’s still more work to be done: The characters beyond Lucy and Lingg need more individual delineation, and more solo numbers, and the broader themes could use greater emphasis. Chris Jones,, "Tears and cheers at stirring true story of 'Haymarket'," 24 June 2018 Justin Bour crushed a solo home run and Straily helped his own effort by driving in a run with a bases loaded walk. Matthew Defranks,, "Marlins beat Brewers in 12 innings in front of record-low crowd," 12 July 2018 Only White, who knocked a fifth-inning solo home run, reached scoring position thereafter — a quiet ending to a game McCullers' shaky start left out of reach almost instantly. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Athletics hammer Lance McCullers in Astros' loss," 12 July 2018 Daniel Hudson gave up a solo home run in the seventh, but the hitters cancelled that out when Chris Taylor supplied a two-out RBI single as insurance in the eighth. Andy Mccullough,, "Kenta Maeda fans nine to secure Dodgers' 4-2 win over Padres," 12 July 2018 Kendrys Morales had three hits for the Blue Jays, including a solo home run and a double, and Russell Martin finished 3 for 3. New York Times, "Mets Split With Blue Jays Thanks to a Five-Run Fifth Inning," 4 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

It’s here that Turner finds true love with Bach and begins her path to solo superstardom., "Tina Turner Says Her Theatrical Life Story Tina Shows You Can 'Turn Poison into Medicine'," 18 Apr. 2018 Also serving as the debut solo single for Fifth Harmony member Normani, the song shot to the top of the charts around the world upon its release on Valentine’s Day, peaking at No. Rob Ledonne, Billboard, "'Love, Simon' Music, From Deep Cuts to Surprise Global Hits," 16 Mar. 2018 Garrison, who solos with a bow, less plays notes than cyclonic, rapidly accelerating dust-devils of sound. Morgan Enos, Billboard, "Newly Found 1963 John Coltrane Album to Be Released, Listen to a Never-Before-Heard Track," 8 June 2018 Philadelphia Orchestra violinist Richard Amoroso will solo in sections of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and the ensemble will also perform music of Franck, Saint-Saëns, Johann Strauss, Tchaikovsky, and Haydn’s Symphony No., "Art Star Craft Bazaar, Love Your Park Week, New Hope Celebrates Pride, and other great events, May 11-18," 9 May 2018 Perry’s soloing was a melodic, piercing howl atop the latter’s elephantine riff. Marc Hirsh,, "Joe Perry rocks his way at House of Blues," 19 Apr. 2018 The cellist who soloed at the concert was Cleveland native Alisa Weilerstein. Charlene Paparizos,, "Chagrin Falls High School Music Students Attend Cleveland Orchestra Concert: Community Voices," 13 Apr. 2018 The wave has been strong enough to vault star merger bankers including Morgan Stanley’s Paul Taubman and Citigroup ’s Michael Klein to solo careers running their own boutique firms. Liz Hoffman, WSJ, "Investment Bankers, Wall Street’s Postcrisis Heroes, Face Growth Puzzle," 31 Mar. 2018 And, indeed, while the company built its name by offering flexible, by-the-month leases and high-level services to solo workers and small startups, big-name companies make up a growing share of the customer base. Tim Logan,, "WeWork expands again, leasing space for 1,700 desks in the Back Bay," 8 Mar. 2018

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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Learn More about solo

Dictionary Entries near solo





solo break



Phrases Related to solo

solo home run

Statistics for solo

Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for solo

The first known use of solo was in 1695

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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 \
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.

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on solo

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for solo

Spanish Central: Translation of solo

Nglish: Translation of solo for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of solo for Arabic Speakers

Comments on solo

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lying above or upon

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