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 Her first solo show in 1975, at the ragtag experimental SoHo art space 112 Greene Street, consisted of three large, scabrous canvases depicting the pared-down form of a horse cleaved by a vertical or horizontal line. Randy Kennedy,, "Susan Rothenberg, acclaimed figurative painter, 75," 21 May 2020 Its release was initially meant to coincide with Blunk’s first (and also long-overdue) solo show in New York, at the Kasmin Gallery, which will now take place in the fall and feature works from both the artist’s home and private collections. Caitie Kelly, New York Times, "The T List: Five Things We Recommend This Week," 14 May 2020 In his solo show, Clint will explore how craftsman from all over America turn old projects into something new again. Joseph Neese, House Beautiful, "Chip and Joanna Gaines Unveil Slate of 10 New Magnolia Network Shows During Primetime Special," 27 Apr. 2020 Then Lewis, who at the time was regularly making solo trips to Costa Rica, vanished without a trace on August 18, 1997. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Where Is Carole Baskin Now? What to Know After Watching Netflix's 'Tiger King'," 28 Mar. 2020 This February brings a solo show for the young Moroccan photographer Ismail Zaidy (February 20 to 23). Christine Ajudua, Condé Nast Traveler, "Africa’s Contemporary Art World Is Finding a Home in Marrakech," 19 Feb. 2020 The congresswoman has made two trips to Iowa on behalf of Sanders' campaign, including one solo trip that began while Sanders remained sidelined in Washington, D.C. amid the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Adam Kelsey And, ABC News, "Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responds to criticism that Sanders' policies are too radical," 19 Feb. 2020 In December, the duo became the first U.K. rap artist to headline a solo show at London’s O2 Arena. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, "Publishing Briefs: U.K. Rapper Dave Renews Warner Chappell Deal, Krept and Konan Sign With Concord," 13 Feb. 2020 White really seemed to be enjoying himself (and the hometown love), exhibiting a freewheeling energy that hasn’t always been evident at his White Stripes and solo shows. Steve Byrne, Detroit Free Press, "2019 entertainment Top 10: Raconteurs, Tame Impala, 'The Deuce,' Murals in the Market," 29 Dec. 2019 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 Philip Sheppard has recorded solo cello albums, composed more than 60 soundtracks, and adapted 206 national anthems for Olympic Games medal ceremonies. Steven Levy, Wired, "This AI Maestro Wants to Serenade You," 20 May 2020 On my runs — which, pandemic aside, are usually solo — my mind hums with questions. New York Times, "Running While Black," 18 May 2020 People can leave their homes only for essential needs like grocery stores and medicine, or for solo outdoor exercise. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "What does a "stay-at-home" order really mean?," 3 Apr. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There was a big portfolio of issues that solo workers face that not many of us knew how to deal with, or how to access support for, if indeed support existed. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, "The Coronavirus Economy: The cookbook author writing a book on working alone," 26 May 2020 There have been a few previous studies looking at affective feelings in different contexts, including one by Arturo Casado, a former world-class miler from Spain, that compared group to solo running in interval workouts. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, "Why Hard Exercise Feels Worse When You’re Alone," 26 Apr. 2020 For some people, that may be best, but there are a number of excellent tour operators that cater to solo travelers. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "10 Mistakes You Might Make When Traveling Solo — and How to Avoid Them (Video)," 8 Apr. 2020 The 12-minute jam featured different members of the house band soloing, with Oxenhorn surprising everyone with her down-and-dirty harp performance. Bryan Reesman, Billboard, "Harry Belafonte and Tony Bennett Honored at 30th JFA Gala at Apollo Theater," 5 Apr. 2019 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

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

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Solo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 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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