View synonyms for single


[ sing-guhl ]


  1. only one in number; one only; unique; sole:

    a single example.

    Synonyms: particular, distinct

  2. of, relating to, or suitable for one person only:

    a single room.

  3. solitary or sole; lone:

    He was the single survivor.

    Synonyms: isolated

  4. unmarried or not in a romantic relationship:

    a single man.

    Synonyms: unwed

  5. pertaining to the unmarried state:

    the single life.

  6. of or noting a parent who brings up a child or children alone, without a partner.
  7. of one against one, as combat or fight.
  8. consisting of only one part, element, or member:

    a single lens.

  9. sincere and undivided:

    single devotion.

  10. separate, particular, or distinct; individual:

    Every single one of you must do your best. It's the single most important thing.

  11. uniform; applicable to all:

    a single safety code for all manufacturers.

  12. (of a bed or bedclothes) twin-size.
  13. (of a flower) having only one set of petals.
  14. British. of standard strength or body, as ale, beer, etc. Compare double ( def ).
  15. (of the eye) seeing rightly.

verb (used with object)

, sin·gled, sin·gling.
  1. to pick or choose (one) from others (usually followed by out ):

    to single out a fact for special mention.

    Synonyms: select

  2. Baseball.
    1. to cause the advance of (a base runner) by a one-base hit.
    2. to cause (a run) to be scored by a one-base hit (often followed by in or home ).

verb (used without object)

, sin·gled, sin·gling.
  1. Baseball. to hit a single.


  1. one person or thing; a single one.

    Synonyms: individual

  2. an accommodation suitable for one person only, as a hotel room or a table at a restaurant:

    to reserve a single.

  3. a ticket for a single seat at a theater.
  4. British.
    1. a one-way ticket.
    2. a steam locomotive having one driving wheel on each side.
  5. singles, people who are unmarried or not in a romantic relationship, especially if relatively young:

    It's not uncommon for singles to feel lonely on Valentine Day.

  6. Baseball. Also called one-base hit. a base hit that enables a batter to reach first base safely.
  7. singles, (used with a singular verb) a match with one player on each side, as a tennis match.
  8. Cricket. a hit for which one run is scored.
  9. Informal. a one-dollar bill.
  10. Music.
    1. a phonograph record, CD, or cassette usually having two songs:

      I probably won't buy the single.

    2. one of the songs recorded on a single:

      a hit single.

    3. a song released or promoted separately from the rest of the album to which it belongs:

      A viral video put that single back on the charts.

  11. Often singles. Textiles.
    1. reeled or spun silk that may or may not be thrown.
    2. a one-ply yarn of any fiber that has been drawn and twisted.


/ ˈsɪŋɡəl /


  1. existing alone; solitary

    upon the hill stood a single tower

  2. distinct from other things; unique or individual
  3. composed of one part
  4. designed for one user

    a single bed

    a single room

  5. also postpositive unmarried
  6. connected with the condition of being unmarried

    he led a single life

  7. (esp of combat) involving two individuals; one against one
  8. sufficient for one person or thing only

    a single portion of food

  9. even one

    there wasn't a single person on the beach

  10. (of a flower) having only one set or whorl of petals
  11. determined; single-minded

    a single devotion to duty

  12. (of the eye) seeing correctly

    to consider something with a single eye

  13. rare.
    honest or sincere; genuine
  14. archaic.
    (of ale, beer, etc) mild in strength
“Collins English Dictionary — Complete & Unabridged” 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012


  1. something forming one individual unit
  2. an unmarried person
  3. a gramophone record, CD, or cassette with a short recording, usually of pop music, on it
  4. golf a game between two players
  5. cricket a hit from which one run is scored
    1. a pound note
    2. a dollar note
“Collins English Dictionary — Complete & Unabridged” 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012


  1. trusually foll byout to select from a group of people or things; distinguish by separation

    he singled him out for special mention

  2. tr to thin out (seedlings)
  3. short for single-foot
“Collins English Dictionary — Complete & Unabridged” 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Derived Forms

  • ˈsingleness, noun
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Other Words From

  • quasi-single adjective
  • quasi-singly adverb
  • un·single adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of single1

First recorded in 1275–1325; late Middle English (adjective), Middle English sengle, from Old French, from Latin singulus “individual, single” (usually in the plural singuli “one apiece”); simplex none, simultaneous none
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Word History and Origins

Origin of single1

C14: from Old French sengle, from Latin singulus individual
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Idioms and Phrases

  • each and every (every single)
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Example Sentences

Zocdoc is acting as a unified portal for multiple providers, so that people can sign up with a single, more user-friendly tool rather than wrestle with several different systems at once.

Six songs, all from a single whale that sang as it swam, were analyzed by seismologists Václav Kuna of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague and John Nábělek of Oregon State University in Corvallis.

We work with a range of outlets including Politico on substantive stories every single day and look forward to having a constructive working relationship.

As the pandemic drags on and more people move out of cities, demand for single-family homes as compared to apartments has gone up.

Idling at 23 Grand Slam singles titles, Williams needs one more to tie and two to overtake Court in the overall tally.

Despite the strong language, however, the neither the JPO nor Lockheed could dispute a single fact in either Daily Beast report.

It is not a decisive war, with a single, signature victory, but a war of attrition.

A single father, he had been living abroad and returned when his mother was diagnosed with cancer.

They stood in a single row, united by solemn respect as the Liu family remained inside.

In a show about single women, Sex and The City was always in a rush to get to the altar—and with a man there waiting.

When the whole hunt is hunting up, each single change is made between the whole hunt, and the next bell above it.

She apparently prefers to paint single figures of women and young girls, but her works include a variety of subjects.

Beginning with single twigs and working over them patiently she at length painted whole trees, and later animals.

Liking for a single colour is a considerably smaller display of mind than an appreciation of the relation of two colours.

My orders ought to have been taken before a single unwounded Officer or man was ferried back aboard ship.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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