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

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

Kate's second event for the day was a truly solo, all-by-her-lonesome visit to the Foundling Museum in London, where she was announced as a new patron. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Copied Charlotte's Signature Wave at Her Last Engagement," 20 Mar. 2019 Who will win: The odds are on Free Solo, National Geographic’s stomach-drop-inducing look at solo mountaineer Alex Honnold’s climb of Yosemite’s El Capitan rock . . . Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Who Should Win at the Oscars vs. Who Will Win," 20 Feb. 2019 The 12-year-old stallion is preparing for his solo debut the same year Tempel Farms celebrates its 60th anniversary. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "'It's a labor of love': Tempel Farms celebrates 60 years of raising and training Lipizzans," 15 June 2018 Kate just had her first solo outing with Queen Elizabeth in a perfect work-appropriate tweedy outfit. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Looks Ready to Go Camping in Her Beloved J. Crew Sweater and Chloe Boots," 28 Mar. 2019 On Sunday night, the first teaser was released: a solo photo of Lisa with a gorgeous gray-toned lob and her signature blunt bangs. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Jennie of Blackpink Reveals New Blonde Hair in "Kill This Love" Promo," 26 Mar. 2019 Unlike working on a solo release, this single required the pair to agree on a direction. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Ashlee Simpson and Evan Ross Release New Single “Phases”," 22 Mar. 2019 For his solo visit, Harry promoted the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC) initiative with Woodland Trust, the U.K.'s largest woodland conservation charity. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry Had the Most Chill Reaction to a Boy Who Didn't Think He Was a "Real Prince"," 21 Mar. 2019 Your amazing wedding…and your solo outing with the Queen…and the official trip with Harry to Australia and the Pacific. Laura Saunders, WSJ, "Meghan Markle Is About to Have a Little Bundle of Tax Headaches," 15 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

But even with all those nods, Cami ended up walking the red carpet totally solo. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Camila Mendes Walked the People's Choice Awards Red Carpet WITHOUT Boyfriend Charles Melton," 12 Nov. 2018 In 2000, Fiennes had to abandon an attempt to walk solo and unsupported to the North Pole when his sleds fell through the ice. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "The 7 Summits Aren't Enough for This Record-Seeking 72-Year-Old Explorer," 26 July 2016 The solo vocal writing is also skillful, establishing undercurrents of emotion without showiness. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘Marnie’ Review: A Thief’s Secrets," 22 Oct. 2018 The success of that project convinced Szatmáry that the time was right to go solo—and to go luxury. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Susan Szatmáry Rolls Into the Accessories Market With a Wheeled “Valisette” Bag Packed With Wow Factor," 23 Nov. 2018 Lauren Jauregui opened up to Nylon about going solo, recording her sentimental and personal new album, and her love life. Megan Lasher, Seventeen, "Lauren Jauregui Doesn't Date According to the Gender Binary," 5 Sep. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Among her royal commitments is her upcoming first solo public duty alongside the Queen. Simon Perry,, "It's Official! Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Just Announced Their First Royal Tour," 10 June 2018 She's already commanded her first solo magazine cover, and made her modeling debut at the L.O.L Surprise! Fashion Show. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "North West Is Adding YouTuber to Her Resume & I Just Really Need a Nap," 24 Mar. 2019 On Tuesday, Kate Middleton pulled double duchess duty, first making personal history with her first-ever solo engagement with Queen Elizabeth and then following that monumental event up with yet another engagement. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Copied Charlotte's Signature Wave at Her Last Engagement," 20 Mar. 2019 This weekend Marvel finally debuted its first solo female superhero movie, Captain Marvel—and with that came countless comparisons to DC’s Wonder Woman. Jill Gutowitz, Glamour, "Captain Marvel Is a New Kind of Female Hero," 11 Mar. 2019 Last night, the celebrated designer enjoyed his first solo exhibition in over a decade; a showcase of his wide-ranging works that included cloisonné enamel armchairs, unweaponized samurai swords with lacquered sheaths, and vibrant Murrina desks. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "The Hot Seat: Designer Marc Newson Is Celebrated With a Gagosian Gallery Show," 19 Jan. 2019 Nicholas Castellanos began the beating with a solo home run. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers score 7 runs in 1st inning against Texas Rangers. Here's how," 7 July 2018 Dominic Fletcher scored the fourth with a solo home run in the fifth. Mike Malloy,, "Gators suffer season-ending loss to Arkansas at CWS," 23 June 2018 Florida outfielder Nick Horvath added one final tally on a solo home run in the top of the eighth. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "UT eliminated from College World Series by Florida," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

With her successful transition from girl group member to solo artist, Beyoncé has turned into an international style icon. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Beyoncé Wore an Emerging Designer That You Can Buy on Etsy for a Date Night With Jay-Z," 15 Feb. 2019 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

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



Statistics for solo

Last Updated

19 Apr 2019

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 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.

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

What made you want to look up solo? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a secret plot to overthrow a government

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