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 soli (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 soloing (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 As a solo artist, she's scored one No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, two on Pop Songs, and one each on Rap Airplay and Rhythmic Songs. Tierney Mcafee, Country Living, "Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani's Duet 'Nobody But You' Just Hit No. 1 and They Couldn't Be Happier," 28 Apr. 2020 Despite going their separate ways, the boy band members turned solo artists largely remained supportive of each other's pursuits on social media. Kimi Robinson, azcentral, "Is One Direction coming back in 2020? Great question. Here's what we know," 22 Apr. 2020 An early favorite is In the Absence Thereof, a station from Radiohead frontman and solo artist Thom Yorke. Matt Bean, Sunset Magazine, "Everything You Need to Know about the New Sonos Radio Station," 22 Apr. 2020 Trainees, for those unfamiliar, are adolescents signed to a company in hopes of one day being picked for a K-pop group or solo debut. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Jihyo of TWICE’s Career Has Been 15 Years in the Making," 14 Apr. 2020 The videos feature classical performances and operas by ensembles and solo artists affiliated with CIM. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, "Cleveland Institute of Music sharing archived concert videos," 10 Apr. 2020 Awards: Country Music Hall of Fame: Sons of the Pioneers (1980) and as a solo artist (1988). 6. Luann Gibbs,, "Top 20 most successful musicians from Cincinnati: 10-1," 9 Apr. 2020 Twenty-five years after its release, Ol’ Diry Bastard’s solo debut Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version still sounds as fresh as ever. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Messy Making of a Nearly Perfect Hip-Hop Album," 2 Apr. 2020 Before coming to Dallas, Yoon performed with the New York Philharmonic as part of their 2018 Global Academy and made her solo debut winning first place at the New York International Music competition. David Buice, Dallas News, "Meet 3 Dallas Symphony Orchestra musicians sparking change with exceptional music," 5 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Meli and Helki, both great names, are both going to Greece at some point this summer and had a bunch of different questions about which city to fly into, how to go solo, what islands to visit that aren't crazy expensive. Condé Nast Traveler, "We Answer Your Frequently Asked Travel Questions, Part 5: Women Who Travel Podcast," 17 Mar. 2020 SpaceX, which competes with Virgin Galactic, said last year that Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa would be the first private person to fly solo around the Moon in 2023. Fox News, "Virgin Galactic gives space tourism big boost as 'Gateway to Space' is now open," 16 Aug. 2019 For five consecutive weeks, there have been five female-inclusive acts (solo female, duets or co-ed acts including women) in the Top 20 of the Country Airplay chart, which measures terrestrial radio play based on data from Nielsen Music/MRC Data. Melinda Newman, Billboard, "Is the Tide Finally Turning For Women at Country Radio?," 18 Feb. 2020 K-Ci Hailey initially went solo in 2006 with debut album My Book. Gail Mitchell, Billboard, "K-Ci Hailey Signs With P Music Group, Relaunches Solo Career: Exclusive," 16 Dec. 2019 Once Mis-Teeq broke up, Alesha went solo, releasing an album called Fired Up in 2005. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'AGT: The Champions' Judge Alesha Dixon Once Called Simon Cowell Out for His "Meowing"," 7 Jan. 2020 Don’t go solo Dim sum is traditionally meant to be experienced with a group. Anna Kang, Time, "How to Order Dim Sum, According to the Head Chef of the First Chinese Restaurant in North America to Receive a Michelin Star," 18 Dec. 2019 Go solo and swim some laps, or consider a group fitness class like water aerobics or aqua spin for a fun twist on traditional cycling. Stephanie Mansour, NBC News, "Hate cold weather? Stay fit (and warm) and have some fun with these indoor workouts.," 9 Jan. 2020 Hovland, 22, placed solo fourth at last season’s Wyndham Championship for the best result of his young career. Esten Mclaren, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "QBE Shootout odds, predictions, picks and PGA Tour best bets," 10 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Braden strikes out six batters and gets support from third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, who has two hits, including a solo home run. John Scheibe, Los Angeles Times, "This day in sports: Don Sutton earns 209th win, moving into tie atop Dodgers’ list," 9 May 2020 Ed Curran is the bookkeeper at Dr. Nora Walker’s solo pulmonary medical practice. Diego Mendoza-moyers,, "For some San Antonio firms, PPP is a lifesaver," 3 May 2020 Kate Middleton shared that adorable tidbit with the world during her first solo interview in 2016, according to The Sun. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Prince Charles Came Up with Prince George’s Nickname for the Queen," 30 Apr. 2020 Many solo workers operate their business from their personal checking account, but many lenders wouldn't accept an application from those who didn't have a business account with them. Jeanne Sahadi, CNN, "'We did everything right.' Small businesses left in limbo waiting for government loans," 22 Apr. 2020 The widows who are now solo parents — women and men doing an incredible job at a seemingly impossible task — shared how similar the extremes can feel. Katie Hawkins-gaar, New York Times, "My Dream of Motherhood Was Eclipsed by Widowhood," 17 Apr. 2020 In addition to being the first solo female rapper to go platinum, Da Brat ruled the 90’s with her unique style. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Check Out Da Brat’s Best Fashion Moments Throughout The Years," 14 Apr. 2020 Last year, Intrepid unveiled six small-group tours designed exclusively for solo parents and their children to travel with other single parent families., "Velas Resorts," 2 Oct. 2019 The Red Sox jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, getting a two-run homer from Xander Bogaerts and solo shots from J.D. Martinez and Christian Vazquez off Yankees opener Stephen Tarpley. Julian Mcwilliams,, "Once again, Red Sox bullpen falls down in London," 30 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Guitarists soloed around booths and at least one power slide was witnessed. Hadley Tomicki, Los Angeles Times, "Face-melting riffs and stomach-stuffing tortas are in Compton," 6 Mar. 2020 Critical businesses, which in Colorado includes marijuana dispensaries, and solo outdoor activities, including nordic skiing and snowshoeing, are allowed. Travel + Leisure, "A State-by-state Breakdown of How the U.S. Is Responding to Coronavirus," 10 Apr. 2020 From college abroad programs to adult learning trips, to family vacations to solo journeys, plans for exploring the world have been abruptly halted as travel agencies, airlines, and hotels have been forced to cancel reservations. Cassandre Coyer, The Christian Science Monitor, "Reminder from an Italian videographer: Beauty is all around us," 30 Mar. 2020 This is a musical counterpart to German expressionist paintings, all slashes, harsh lights and garish colors — except when wind solos spin out sensuous seductions. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Fort Worth Symphony delivers expert and expressive performance for conductor Robert Trevino," 29 Feb. 2020 From cute kisses with their partner to solo love-celebrating music videos, stars didn’t let Valentine’s Day go unnoticed. Kaitlin Reilly,, "All The Sweet & Gushy Ways Stars Are Celebrating Valentine’s Day," 15 Feb. 2020 But the problem has persisted, even as inexperienced pilots are learning to solo in the Texan II over populated areas near San Antonio and other cities. Sig Christenson,, "Cockpit oxygen problems persist in Air Force trainer flown in San Antonio," 28 Jan. 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

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Solo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for solo


How to pronounce solo (audio)

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

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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

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