Nearby words

  1. singing,
  2. singing game,
  3. singing hinny,
  4. singing telegram,
  5. singingfish,
  6. single blind,
  7. single bond,
  8. single combat,
  9. single cream,
  10. single cut

Origin of single

1275–1325; late Middle English (adj.), Middle English sengle < Old French < Latin singulus individual, single (usually in the plural singuli one apiece), derivative of *sem- one (see simplex)

Related formsqua·si-sin·gle, adjectivequa·si-sin·gly, adverbun·sin·gle, adjective

Can be confusedsignal singlesingle singular Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for single

British Dictionary definitions for single


/ (ˈsɪŋɡəl) /

adjective (usually prenominal)



See also singles

Derived Formssingleness, noun

Word Origin for single

C14: from Old French sengle, from Latin singulus individual

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

Word Origin and History for single
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with single


In addition to the idioms beginning with single

  • single file, in
  • single out

also see:

  • each and every (every single)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.