mono·​logue ˈmä-nə-ˌlȯg How to pronounce monologue (audio)
variants or less commonly monolog
: soliloquy sense 2
the monologue at the beginning of the scene
: a dramatic sketch performed by one actor
: the routine of a stand-up comic
The comedian's monologue about his family was hilarious.
: a literary composition written in the form of a soliloquy
Her poems were monologues about unrequited love.
: a long speech monopolizing conversation
I stifled a yawn as she continued her monologue about her vacation experiences.
monologuist noun
or monologist
ˈmä-nə-ˌlȯ-gist How to pronounce monologue (audio)

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Soliloquy vs. Monologue

Soliloquy and monologue cover very similar ground, but there are some important differences between the two words. Soliloquy (from the Latin solus “alone” and loqui “to speak”) at its most basic level refers to the act of talking to oneself, and more specifically denotes the solo utterance of an actor in a drama. It tends to be used of formal or literary expressions, such as Hamlet’s soliloquies. Monologue (from Greek monos "alone" and legein "to speak") may also refer to a dramatic scene in which an actor soliloquizes, but it has other meanings as well. To a stand-up comedian, monologue denotes a comic routine. To a bored listener, it signifies a long speech uttered by someone who has too much to say.

Examples of monologue in a Sentence

The play begins with the main character's monologue. The comedian is famous for his monologue about winning the lottery. I stifled a yawn as she launched into a monologue about how she is going to become a famous star.
Recent Examples on the Web When the monologues ended, pictures of their sons flashed on the screen. Jasmine Hilton, Washington Post, 25 Nov. 2023 But the strike only ended two days ago, so what was the plan for the monologue before that news broke? Vulture, 12 Nov. 2023 His entrapment, a very on-the-nose metaphor, results in an explosive seven-minute monologue about his career and relationship woes, unknowingly delivered to his girlfriend Claire (Molly Gordon) on the other side of the door. Li Goldstein, Bon Appétit, 9 Nov. 2023 Cohen, 55, began the opening monologue of his BravoCon special, BravoCon Live with Andy Cohen, by acknowledging the twinning reality stars. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 8 Nov. 2023 Then out came Papo, unhinged in the best way: screaming into the mic, bobbing uncontrollably behind the CDJs, taking breaks for conspiratorial monologues. Alphonse Pierre, Pitchfork, 3 Nov. 2023 Cameron Cairnes The monologue that opens the show was probably the hardest thing to craft in the writing. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 Nov. 2023 The Human Voice — the classic theater monologue — was always a touchstone for Almodóvar, frequently referenced in many of his films. Armond White, National Review, 27 Oct. 2023 Live from New York on Saturday night, Timothée Chalamet took the stage as host of Saturday Night Live and, during his opening monologue, celebrated how the union SAG-AFTRA reached a deal with the Hollywood studios this week, putting an end to the 118-day actors’ strike. Marlow Stern, Rolling Stone, 12 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'monologue.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle French monologue, from mon- + -logue

First Known Use

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of monologue was in 1549

Dictionary Entries Near monologue

Cite this Entry

“Monologue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


variants also monolog
: a short dramatic work performed by one actor
: a long uninterrupted speech delivered by one person in the presence of others
monologuist noun
or monologist
mə-ˈnäl-ə-jəst How to pronounce monologue (audio)
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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