Choose or distinguish from others, as in We singled him out from all the other applicants. This idiom was first recorded in 1629.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
How to use single out in a sentence
But it would be unfair to single out American diplomats for this ignorance.
The investigation ultimately found the Cincinnati office used inappropriate criteria to single out certain cases.
Lest his snub be too subtle, Logan went on to single out and exclude Southerners for their “rebellious tyranny.”The Real Memorial Day: Oliver Wendell Holmes's Salute To A Momentous American Anniversary | Malcolm Jones | May 26, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Geithner does, however, single out Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) for supporting him when the senator had nothing to gain.Speed Read: The Juiciest Bits From Timothy Geithner’s New Memoir | William O’Connor | May 13, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
But is it fair to single out the provider whose heroin happened to have killed a celebrity (or anyone else)?No, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Dealer Isn’t a Murderer | Alan M. Dershowitz | February 7, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
It was Hendrik's intention to single out one of the bulls, and run him down—leaving the others to gallop off wherever they wished.Popular Adventure Tales | Mayne Reid
Of them we may here single out, as a particularly characteristic type, those which deal with devourment.Elements of Folk Psychology | Wilhelm Wundt
Gertrude was first to single out Alfonso, whose handkerchief waved a brother's welcome to the old world.The Harris-Ingram Experiment | Charles E. Bolton
Wolves always single out an animal to attack; they wouldn't dare enter an inclosure.Wells Brothers | Andy Adams
Focusing his gaze to a searching squint he tried to single out a culprit from their midst.Whispering Wires | Henry Leverage