single
Pronunciation
  • IPA: /ˈsɪŋɡəl/

Adjective

single (not comparable)

  1. Not accompanied by anything else; one in number.
    Can you give me a single reason not to leave right now?
    The vase contained a single long-stemmed rose.
  2. Not divided in parts.
    The potatoes left the spoon and landed in a single big lump on the plate.
  3. Designed for the use of only one.
    a single room
  4. Performed by one person, or one on each side.
    a single combat
    • 1649, [John] Milton, [Eikonoklastes]  […], London: Printed by Matthew Simmons,  […], OCLC 1044608640 ↗:
      These shifts refuted, answer thy appellant, […] / Who now defies thee thrice to single fight.
  5. Not married or (in modern times) not involved in a romantic relationship without being married or not dating anyone exclusively.
    Forms often ask if a person is single, married, divorced or widowed. In this context, a person who is dating someone but who has never married puts "single".
    Josh put down that he was a single male on the dating website.
    • c. 1595–1596, William Shakespeare, “A Midsommer Nights Dreame”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene i]:
      To undergo such maiden pilgrimage.
      But earthlier happy is the rose distilled
      Than that which, withering on the virgin thorn,
      Grows, lives, and dies in single blessedness.
    • Single chose to live, and shunned to wed.
  6. (botany) Having only one rank or row of petals.
  7. (obsolete) Simple and honest; sincere, without deceit.
    • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Luke 11:
      Therefore, when thyne eye is single: then is all thy boddy full off light. Butt if thyne eye be evyll: then shall all thy body be full of darknes?
    • 1613, William Shakespeare; [John Fletcher], “The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene iii]:
      I speak it with a single heart.
  8. Uncompounded; pure; unmixed.
    • Simple ideas are opposed to complex, and single to compound.
    • 1867, William Greenough Thayer Shedd, Homiletics, and Pastoral Theology (page 166)
      The most that is required is, that the passage of Scripture, selected as the foundation of the sacred oration, should, like the oration itself, be single, full, and unsuperfluous in its character.
  9. (obsolete) Simple; foolish; weak; silly.
    • 1616–1618, John Fletcher; Philip Massinger; Nathan Field, “The Queene of Corinth”, in Comedies and Tragedies […], London: Printed for Humphrey Robinson, […], and for Humphrey Moseley […], published 1647, OCLC 3083972 ↗, Act 3, scene 1:
      He utters such single matter in so infantly a voice.
Synonyms Antonyms Related terms Translations Translations Translations Translations
Noun

single (plural singles)

  1. (music) A 45 RPM vinyl record with one song on side A and one on side B.
    Antonyms: album
  2. (music) A popular song released and sold (on any format) nominally on its own though usually having at least one extra track.
    The Offspring released four singles from their most recent album.
  3. One who is not married or does not have a romantic partner.
    Antonyms: married
    He went to the party, hoping to meet some friendly singles there.
  4. (cricket) A score of one run.
  5. (baseball) A hit in baseball where the batter advances to first base.
  6. (dominoes) A tile that has a different value (i.e. number of pips) at each end.
  7. A bill valued at $1.
    I don't have any singles, so you'll have to make change.
  8. (UK) A one-way ticket.
  9. (Canadian football) A score of one point, awarded when a kicked ball is dead within the non-kicking team's end zone or has exited that end zone. Officially known in the rules as a rouge.
  10. (tennis, chiefly, in the plural) A game with one player on each side, as in tennis.
  11. One of the reeled filaments of silk, twisted without doubling to give them firmness.
  12. (UK, Scotland, dialect) A handful of gleaned grain.
  13. (computing, programming) A floating-point number having half the precision of a double-precision value.
    cot en
    • 2011, Rubin H. Landau, A First Course in Scientific Computing (page 214)
      If you want to be a scientist or an engineer, learn to say “no” to singles and floats.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
Verb

single (singles, present participle singling; past and past participle singled)

  1. To identify or select one member of a group from the others; generally used with out, either to single out or to single (something) out.
    Eddie singled out his favorite marble from the bag.
    Yvonne always wondered why Ernest had singled her out of the group of giggling girls she hung around with.
    • 1915, Austen Chamberlain, speech on April 16, 1915
      Sir John French says that if he is to single out one regiment in the fighting at Ypres it is the Worcesters he would name? I do plead that some person should record these events, so that our history, national and local, may be the richer for them, that the children may be stimulated to do their duty by the knowledge of the way in which our soldiers are doing theirs to-day.
  2. (baseball) To get a hit that advances the batter exactly one base.
    Pedro singled in the bottom of the eighth inning, which, if converted to a run, would put the team back into contention.
  3. (agriculture) To thin out.
    • 1913, D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, chapter 7
      Paul went joyfully, and spent the afternoon helping to hoe or to single turnips with his friend.
  4. (of a horse) To take the irregular gait called singlefoot.
    • Many very fleet horses, when overdriven, adopt a disagreeable gait, which seems to be a cross between a pace and a trot, in which the two legs of one side are raised almost but not quite, simultaneously. Such horses are said to single, or to be single-footed.
  5. To sequester; to withdraw; to retire.
    • an agent singling itself from consorts
  6. To take alone, or one by one.
    • men […] commendable when they are singled



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