a sleeveless athletic jersey, especially a loose-fitting top worn by runners, joggers, etc.
a single unit; an unpaired or separate item.
Chiefly British. a man's undershirt or jersey.

Origin of singlet

First recorded in 1740–50; single + -et Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for singlet

Historical Examples of singlet

  • He was dressed in a singlet, without arms, and a pair of duck trousers.

    The Trembling of a Leaf

    William Somerset Maugham

  • "Why, look yer 'ere," said the miner, showing the shoulders of his singlet.

    Sons and Lovers

    David Herbert Lawrence

  • My costume may be guessed from the name I gave to the ascent -- Singlet Hill.

  • On the settee behind the table lay a man in trousers and singlet, snoring.


    William McFee

  • Clad only in dungaree trousers and singlet, I go below, on watch.

    An Ocean Tramp

    William McFee

British Dictionary definitions for singlet



mainly British and Australian a man's sleeveless undergarment covering the body from the shoulders to the hips
Australian a similar sleeveless garment worn as outerwearAlso called (in Britain): vest
mainly British a garment worn with shorts by athletes, boxers, etc
NZ a black woollen outer garment worn by bushmen
physics a multiplet that has only one member
chem a chemical bond consisting of one electron

Word Origin for singlet

C18: from single, on the model of doublet
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 singlet

"unlined woolen garment," c.1746, from single (adj.) in clothing sense of "unlined, of one thickness" (late 14c.) + -et, apparently in imitation of doublet.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper