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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for solo

Synonyms: Adjective

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

Antonyms: Adjective


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The fact that the secondary bubble-producing fermentation occurs in a vat instead of individual bottles makes the process, and thus the resulting wine, less expensive; making prosecco a winner for mixing mimosas, but less nuanced to sip solo. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Prosecco Isn't the Champagne of Italy, Franciacorta Is," 15 Mar. 2019 The performance, apart from being his first as a solo act, was intended as a tribute to Louis’s mother, Johannah Deakin, who had passed away at age 42 just days prior after a long battle with leukemia. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "Louis Tomlinson Said Zayn Malik Didn’t Come to Support His "X-Factor" Performance After His Mother’s Death," 12 Mar. 2019 Clean Bandit were the first of several performances representing various Commonwealth nations; the lineup also included North Indian dhol drumming, and a didgeridoo solo by an Australian aboriginal musician. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "You Probably Missed This Adorable Moment Between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry," 11 Mar. 2019 There was one slight hiccup, however: The mission team lost telemetry about 40 minutes into flight, right around the time when the Parker Solar Probe was scheduled to separate from its rocket ride and start flying solo. Mike Wall,, "A Fireball and a Wall of Sound: What NASA's Epic Solar Probe Launch Felt Like," 14 Aug. 2018 Travel—whether solo or with a partner—is about discovering locales that inspire, awe, and transport you. Nicola Fumo, Town & Country, "What to Pack for an Irish Getaway," 4 Mar. 2019 Smith was a regular at the thrift store in East London that the 24-year-old Abbott worked at a few years ago—but that video was Abbott’s first-ever solo styling gig. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Awards Season Is in Full Swing and Jorja Smith’s Red Carpet Style Has Never Been Better," 27 Feb. 2019 Bloom had attended the Vanity Fair Oscars party solo earlier last night, while Perry shot several Instagram stories of watching the show from the television while her glam team got to work. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Newly Engaged Couple Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom Hit Up Beyonce's Secret Oscars Party," 25 Feb. 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

Kate Middleton stepped out for two solo appearances this week—visiting King Henry’s Walk Community Garden, and attending the Royal Opera House. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince William Had a Secret Royal Engagement This Week & We All Missed It," 19 Jan. 2019 Last night, Harper's BAZAAR cover star Cardi B became the first solo female artist to win a Grammy in the Best Rap Album category for her project Invasion Of Privacy. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Offset Shares a Video of Cardi B Giving Birth to Baby Kulture," 12 Feb. 2019 The Trojans shared a title in 2003 with LSU before repeating as solo champion the next season. Josh Dubow, The Seattle Times, "Alabama already among greatest college dynasties," 7 Jan. 2019 Prior to Ariana, just three other solo women have headlined the Indio, California, music festival: Björk (who headlined twice), Lady Gaga, and Beyoncé. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande Is Only the Fourth Woman Ever to Headline Coachella," 3 Jan. 2019 First ladies usually don’t take solo helicopter rides. Steve Helber, The Seattle Times, "Melania Trump makes first lady history with ride in Osprey," 12 Dec. 2018 In March, Marvel will release Captain Marvel, the first female solo superhero film in the current MCU (some may recall 2005’s Elektra, but that film was distributed by Fox). Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "2018 belonged to Black Panther. And it could change Marvel’s future.," 11 Dec. 2018 As a feminist and supporter for women's rights, the Duchess of Sussex followed her passion in launching her first solo royal project, Together: Our Community Cookbook. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Michelle Obama Gives Advice to Meghan Markle About Handling Pressure," 3 Dec. 2018 And Lauren Jauregui recently unveiled her first solo single. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "Camila Cabello Reconciled With Fellow Fifth Harmony Member Normani at the 2018 BBMAs," 15 Nov. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about solo

Dictionary Entries near solo





solo break



Statistics for solo

Last Updated

22 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for solo

The first known use of solo was in 1695

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!