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 A few songs into his recent solo acoustic set at Boston’s Club Passim, John Paul White cracked a wry joke about the empty seats. Stephen Humphries, The Christian Science Monitor, "Live from anywhere: Musicians find new ways to connect with fans," 30 Mar. 2020 However, the solo rider needs to be ready for anything. Eben Weiss, Outside Online, "In Trying Times, Rediscover the Joy of Riding Alone," 27 Mar. 2020 Their legacy has been pockmarked by lawsuits, all hurled by Love—for songwriting credits in 1993, against Jardine using the Beach Boys name on tour in 2003, and over a free CD included with Brian’s solo album Smile in 2005. Morgan Enos, Fortune, "How the Beach Boys became two separate, warring factions," 3 Mar. 2020 Boy bands breed solo artists, not the other way around. Connie Wang,, "Can Two Master Fashion Designers Work Together Under One Label?," 24 Feb. 2020 Singer-songwriter Mabel, daughter of musician Neneh Cherry, was named U.K. female solo artist of the year. Jill Lawless, USA TODAY, "Lewis Capaldi and Stormzy win at Brit Awards, Billie Eilish and Rod Stewart perform," 18 Feb. 2020 Weaver, named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year last week, leads the nation in total tackles (173) and solo tackles (95)., "Cal linebacker Evan Weaver named first-team All-American," 16 Dec. 2019 On the gridiron, Couch totaled more than 2,000 rushing yards with close to 40 touchdowns while making 300 solo tackles. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, "Manual product ShaRae Mansfield among 12 named to KHSAA's 2020 Hall of Fame class," 31 Oct. 2019 They can be eaten solo; combined with other ingredients to assemble mini-meals; or used as the base for several recipes. Lisa Drayer, CNN, "Grocery rules for your coronavirus lockdown: Buy beans, freeze milk, don't hoard, and more," 17 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb 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 Kristen Bell walked the Frozen 2 red carpet premiere solo but her husband Dax Shepard wasn’t far from her mind! Alexia Fernandez,, "Kristen Bell Says Husband Dax Shepard Is a 'Mountain Man' But Can Be 'Vulnerable'," 8 Nov. 2019 Over the past 29 years, Khajavi has attempted solo swims across the choppy 20.1-mile channel between Los Angeles and Catalina Island nine times. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Catalina channel swimmer, 66, undaunted by latest setback," 3 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective For the moment, a quick, solo jog is still permissible in France, but the implication was that even that won’t be if the French don’t immediately get it together and hunker down. Lauren Collins, The New Yorker, "The Anguish and Solidarity of Paris Under Lockdown," 17 Mar. 2020 His timetable doesn't change much, not when the vast majority of his rehabilitation is solo work. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers mailbag: It's now even more unlikely we'll see Casey Mize this season," 17 Mar. 2020 In May 1927, 25-year-old Charles A. Lindbergh skyrocketed to fame after completing the first successful non-stop, solo transatlantic flight. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "The True History Behind ‘The Plot Against America’," 16 Mar. 2020 On March 18, the first lady was scheduled to headline her first solo fundraiser in Beverly Hills for the president’s reelection bid. Jada Yuan, Washington Post, "Melania Trump ignores coronavirus from her Be Best bubble," 11 Mar. 2020 Over the last week, Meghan and Harry participated in joint and solo appearances at different events, happily greeting the thousands that swarmed to see them on each occasion. Ineye Komonibo,, "Meghan Markle & Prince Harry Just Had Their Final Appearance As Senior Royals," 9 Mar. 2020 The solo part demands enormous power and virtuosity. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "An elegantly structured Dallas Symphony program, but performances weren’t the best," 7 Mar. 2020 Blown up to orchestral dimensions — a solo jazz flute becomes three mighty orchestral ones — the struggle for hope gets inspirationally blown up as well. Los Angeles Times, "Review: L.A. Phil and Herbie Hancock open the risk-taking Power to the People! festival," 6 Mar. 2020 Besides future Gator Beil and future Crimson Tide Reil, sophomore Mackenzie Tucker returned to the state stage and scored a pair of ninth-place finishes in solo events. James Weber,, "Dixie Heights girls finish 4th in KHSAA state swimming meet behind SEC-bound seniors," 22 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 David Lama, 28, of Austria, is a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year who recently soloed the first ascent of Lunag Ri in Nepal. Andrew Bisharat, National Geographic, "Three top mountain climbers presumed dead in avalanche," 18 Apr. 2019 Peter Dinklage earned the show’s only solo acting nod this year, for his performance as Tyrion Lannister. Tyler Aquilina,, "Euron Greyjoy actor Pilou Asbæk says Game of Thrones ending was 'perfect'," 20 Jan. 2020 The array of control options help solo producers and streamers cue up sound effects, display titles, mix audio, and more. Time, "The 25 Best Products of CES 2020," 9 Jan. 2020 Riviera River Cruises is one company that specifically caters to solo travelers, with a variety of routes points and exclusive departures for solo travelers. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Solo Vacations to Take in 2020," 2 Jan. 2020 Here are the ways in which Styles has expertly navigated the path to solo stardom while maintaining an air of authenticity. Washington Post, "How Harry Styles navigated solo stardom, from One Direction to ‘Fine Line’," 13 Dec. 2019 Like her son would one day do, Hargreaves also soloed all six Great North Faces of the Alps in a single summer season. Andrew Bisharat, National Geographic, "Hope dims for climbers missing on the 'Killer Mountain'," 6 Mar. 2019

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

4 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Solo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Apr. 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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