Origin of solo

1685–95; < Italian < Latin sōlus alone




former name of Surakarta.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for solo

Contemporary Examples of solo

Historical Examples of solo

  • Stanton sang a solo, and then all joined in “Auld Lang Syne.”

  • We had been going through the solo soprano parts of the “Paradise Lost.”

    The First Violin

    Jessie Fothergill

  • One of the preachers sang a solo, and presided at the organ.

    A Woman who went to Alaska

    May Kellogg Sullivan

  • The work is written for four solo voices, chorus, and orchestra.

    The Standard Oratorios

    George P. Upton

  • That is the solo of human life overpowered by hallelujah chorus.

    The Wedding Ring

    T. De Witt Talmage

British Dictionary definitions for solo


noun plural -los

plural -los or -li (-liː) a musical composition for one performer with or without accompaniment
any of various card games in which each person plays on his own instead of in partnership with another, such as solo whist
a flight in which an aircraft pilot is unaccompanied
  1. any performance, mountain climb, or other undertaking carried out by an individual without assistance from others
  2. (as modifier)a solo attempt


music unaccompanieda sonata for cello solo


by oneself; aloneto fly solo


(intr) to undertake a venture alone, esp to operate an aircraft alone or climb alone

Word Origin for solo

C17: via Italian from Latin sōlus alone, sole 1
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 solo

1690s, "piece of music for one voice or instrument," from Italian solo, literally "alone," from Latin solus "alone" (see sole (adj.)). As an adjective in English from 1712, originally in the non-musical sense of "alone, unassisted;" in reference to aircraft flying from 1909. The verb is first attested 1858 in the musical sense, 1886 in a non-musical sense. Related: Soloed; soloing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper