soliloquy

[suh-lil-uh-kwee]
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noun, plural so·lil·o·quies.
  1. an utterance or discourse by a person who is talking to himself or herself or is disregardful of or oblivious to any hearers present (often used as a device in drama to disclose a character's innermost thoughts): Hamlet's soliloquy begins with “To be or not to be.”
  2. the act of talking while or as if alone.

Origin of soliloquy

1595–1605; < Late Latin sōliloquium a talking to oneself, soliloquy, equivalent to sōli- soli-1 + loqu(ī) to speak + -ium -ium; see -y3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for soliloquy

monologue, discourse, speech, aside, address, monology

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British Dictionary definitions for soliloquy

soliloquy

noun plural -quies
  1. the act of speaking alone or to oneself, esp as a theatrical device
  2. a speech in a play that is spoken in soliloquyHamlet's first soliloquy

Word Origin for soliloquy

C17: via Late Latin sōliloquium, from Latin sōlus sole + loquī to speak

usage

Soliloquy is sometimes wrongly used where monologue is meant. Both words refer to a long speech by one person, but a monologue can be addressed to other people, whereas in a soliloquy the speaker is always talking to himself or herself
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 soliloquy
n.

1610s, from Late Latin soliloquium "a talking to oneself," from Latin solus "alone" (see sole (adj.)) + loqui "speak" (see locution). Also used in translation of Latin "Liber Soliloquiorum," a treatise by Augustine, who is said to have coined the word, on analogy of Greek monologia (see monologue). Related: Soliloquent.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper