[ soh-loh ]
See synonyms for solo on
noun,plural so·los, so·li [soh-lee]. /ˈsoʊ li/.
  1. a musical composition or a passage or section in a musical composition written for performance by one singer or instrumentalist, with or without accompaniment: She sang a solo.

  2. any performance, as a dance, by one person.

  1. a flight in an airplane during which the pilot is unaccompanied by an instructor or other person: I'll be ready for my first solo next week.

  2. a person who works, acts, or performs alone: He used to sing with a quartet, but now he's a solo.

  3. a person who performs or accomplishes something without the usual equipment, tools, etc.

  4. Informal. an announcement, commercial offering, etc., made to only one person or a selected group of such persons: Each month the firm sends a solo to its best customers.

  5. Cards. any of certain games in which one person plays alone against others.

  1. Music. performing alone: a part for solo bassoon.

  2. performed alone; not combined with other parts of equal importance; not concerted.

  1. alone; without a companion or partner: a solo flight.

  1. on one's own; alone or unaccompanied: After six lessons he was flying solo.

verb (used without object),so·loed, so·lo·ing.
  1. to perform or do a solo: to solo on the trumpet.

  2. to pilot a plane, glider, etc., unaccompanied, especially for the first time: After the course the students should be able to solo.

  1. to perform or accomplish something by oneself.

verb (used with object),so·loed, so·lo·ing.
  1. to pilot (a plane, glider, etc.) unaccompanied.

  2. to allow (a student pilot) to pilot a plane, glider, etc., alone: The instructor decided to solo the student.

Origin of solo

1685–95; <Italian <Latin sōlus alone Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use solo in a sentence

  • Then came two pieces by the orchestra; next, my three solos in a row, and a symphony of Haydn closed the programme.

  • They would n't let you sing solos at St. Paul's Church if you did n't sing well—so!

  • He composed a toy symphony, which included solos on every noisy plaything at that time manufactured for children's use.

    After Dark | Wilkie Collins
  • In a few months we hear of his playing solos at Brabandt's aristocratic concerts.

British Dictionary definitions for solo


/ (ˈsəʊləʊ) /

nounplural -los
  1. plural -los or -li (-liː) a musical composition for one performer with or without accompaniment

  2. any of various card games in which each person plays on his own instead of in partnership with another, such as solo whist

  1. a flight in which an aircraft pilot is unaccompanied

    • any performance, mountain climb, or other undertaking carried out by an individual without assistance from others

    • (as modifier): a solo attempt

  1. music unaccompanied: a sonata for cello solo

  1. by oneself; alone: to fly solo

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

Origin of 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