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

Crosby watched each of his bandmates go through their solos. Washington Post, "David Crosby, still helplessly hoping at age 77, reprises a lifetime of anthems at the Birchmere," 5 June 2019 Later on, Stormi ventures out of the office, leaving Jenner to continue her business deals solo. Eric Todisco,, "Kylie Jenner Takes Fans Through Typical Day with Stormi: 'Hard to Manage Mom Life and Work Life'," 4 June 2019 Rex Hausmann opened a solo show of his work at the Sheen Center for Thought & Culture in New York Center at the end of May, the capper to a three-month residency — no small feat. Deborah Martin,, "Rex Hausmann, San Antonio artists open exhibits in New York," 3 June 2019 Lilly had her first solo with Abby at just 7 years old, but Abby is proving to take no favorites going into this new season, asking Lilly to remove her ALDC jacket to even out the playing field in the Season 8 sneak peek. Mackenzie Dunn, Woman's Day, "Meet The Cast of 'Dance Moms' Season 8," 19 May 2019 And each of those solo shows comes with its own roster of supporting characters and villains. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Daredevil season 3 is a return to what made the show so good in season 1," 15 Oct. 2018 The solo gloss is a peachy champagne called Sugar Plum. Allure, "A Third Kylie Cosmetics x Koko Kollection Is Coming, and Fans Aren't Happy About the New Packaging," 26 May 2019 Her first solo album, Stars Dance, debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Selena Gomez's Net Worth Will Blow Your Mind," 23 May 2019 The daughter of Haitian immigrants first flew solo at age 16 and earned her private pilot’s license at age 17. Danielle Williams, SELF, "11 Adventurous Moms Worth Following on Instagram," 20 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

The aviation records aren’t official yet, but Andrews doesn’t expect any problems being certified as the youngest pilot to fly solo around the world and over the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. Janet Mcconnaughey, The Seattle Times, "US teen flies for record: youngest solo round-the-world," 9 Oct. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

All but two of Verlander's 17 home runs this season have been solo shots. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros mailbag: When will Jose Altuve return to action?," 13 June 2019 Book by July 31, 2019 and waive the solo premium on solo cabins on the Aug. 31, 2019 departure. National Geographic, "Treasures of the Inside Passage: Solo Travelers," 12 June 2019 Prince Harry had a special reminder of wife Meghan Markle on hand while spending the day on solo royal duty., "Prince Harry Had a Rare Photo with Meghan Markle on Display During Kensington Palace Meeting," 11 June 2019 The Rays opened scoring on Tommy Pham’s first-inning solo home. Ted Ward, The Mercury News, "Back-to-back smashes lead A’s past Rays," 11 June 2019 Almost always after dark, solo mothers would come into town looking for small prey, such as raccoons, skunks, turkeys or pets. Seth Boster, The Denver Post, "An up-close mission to understand mountain lions in Colorado — but is it too close?," 6 June 2019 Still, solo or family travelers shouldn’t let the Cyclades island’s love-laden reputation deter them from visiting. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Where to Stay and What to Do in Santorini—For Those Not On Their Honeymoon," 28 May 2019 Negotiating boundaries with partners and increasing solo pleasure practices can be helpful tools for people with HSDD. Corinne Werder, Allure, "The Shame-Free Guide to Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder," 23 May 2019 Banks made history in 1997 as the first African-American solo cover model. Fawnia Soo Hoo, Glamour, "These Women Have Spent Hundreds of Hours in Swimsuits. Here Are Their Tips for Getting the Perfect Fit.," 21 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Lama attempts to solo Lunag Ri but is thwarted by deep snow conditions high on the ridge. National Geographic, "In the wake of tragedy, climbers pay homage to David Lama," 19 Apr. 2019 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

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

14 Jun 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

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