sin·​gu·​lar | \ ˈsiŋ-gyə-lər How to pronounce singular (audio) \

Definition of singular

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of or relating to a separate person or thing : individual
b : of, relating to, or being a word form denoting one person, thing, or instance a singular noun
c : of or relating to a single instance or to something considered by itself
2 : distinguished by superiority : exceptional an artist of singular attainments
3 : being out of the ordinary : unusual on the way home we had a singular adventure
4 : departing from general usage or expectation : peculiar, odd the air had a singular chill
5a of a matrix : having a determinant equal to zero
b of a linear transformation : having the property that the matrix of coefficients of the new variables has a determinant equal to zero



Definition of singular (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the singular number, the inflectional form denoting it, or a word in that form
2 : a singular term

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Other Words from singular


singularly adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for singular


strange, singular, unique, peculiar, eccentric, erratic, odd, quaint, outlandish mean departing from what is ordinary, usual, or to be expected. strange stresses unfamiliarity and may apply to the foreign, the unnatural, the unaccountable. a journey filled with strange sights singular suggests individuality or puzzling strangeness. a singular feeling of impending disaster unique implies singularity and the fact of being without a known parallel. a career unique in the annals of science peculiar implies a marked distinctiveness. the peculiar status of America's First Lady eccentric suggests a wide divergence from the usual or normal especially in behavior. the eccentric eating habits of preschoolers erratic stresses a capricious and unpredictable wandering or deviating. a friend's suddenly erratic behavior odd applies to a departure from the regular or expected. an odd sense of humor quaint suggests an old-fashioned but pleasant oddness. a quaint fishing village outlandish applies to what is uncouth, bizarre, or barbaric. outlandish fashions of the time

Examples of singular in a Sentence

Adjective In the phrase “his car is red,” the word “car” is a singular noun. He had a singular appearance.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Everything that he's ever done is so distinctly fresh and joyful and singular. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 6 Oct. 2021 Big names in tech and business will hopefully elevate water stewardship from a singular PR move padding corporate reputations into a genuinely global focus and core business concern for years to come. David Lynch, Fortune, 5 Oct. 2021 The work of French filmmaker Julia Ducournau feels wholly singular, like a world unto itself. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 5 Oct. 2021 For me, this was the epitome of what John Muir was talking about in his championing of such singular natural scenery — here was a visual sensation that could only be achieved in this very anomalous and specialized location. Rolling Stone, 13 Oct. 2021 One particular scene scared this reviewer more than any singular scene in any horror film this year... Jeff Ewing, Forbes, 13 Oct. 2021 There's probably no singular substance that is more Milwaukee. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 Oct. 2021 Nor did the band’s dissolution have any singular trigger—any carpet. David Remnick, The New Yorker, 11 Oct. 2021 Burgess’s portrayal of the utterly singular Titus earned him five Emmy nominations but no victory., 11 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The former's singular, PEN/Faulkner Award-winning novel Behold the Dreamers concerns the collapse of Lehman Brothers; the latter has written three books centered largely on Pan-American communities. Seija Rankin,, 9 Mar. 2021 But the Jazz found the convincing means by which to keep the former singular and the latter plural, getting a second huge victory in three days. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 22 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'singular.' 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 singular


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for singular


Middle English singuler, from Anglo-French, from Latin singularis, from singulus only one — more at single

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Time Traveler for singular

Time Traveler

The first known use of singular was in the 14th century

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Statistics for singular

Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Singular.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for singular



English Language Learners Definition of singular

: showing or indicating no more than one thing
: better or greater than what is usual or normal
: strange or odd


sin·​gu·​lar | \ ˈsiŋ-gyə-lər How to pronounce singular (audio) \

Kids Definition of singular

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or being a word form used to show not more than one person or thing The singular form of "calves" is "calf."
2 : superior entry 1 sense 2, exceptional He showed singular poise.
3 : of unusual quality We had a singular experience.
4 : strange sense 2, odd A wind was rising and making a singular, wild, low, rushing sound.— Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden



Kids Definition of singular (Entry 2 of 2)

: a form of a word used to show that only one person or thing is meant

More from Merriam-Webster on singular

Nglish: Translation of singular for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of singular for Arabic Speakers


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