Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Not accompanied by another or others; solitary.
  • adj. Consisting of one part, aspect, or section: a single thickness; a single serving.
  • adj. Having the same application for all; uniform: a single moral code for all.
  • adj. Consisting of one in number: She had but a single thought, which was to escape.
  • adj. Not divided; unbroken: a single slab of ice.
  • adj. Separate from others; individual and distinct: Every single child will receive a gift.
  • adj. Having individual opponents; involving two individuals only: single combat.
  • adj. Honest; undisguised: a single adoration.
  • adj. Wholly attentive: You must judge the contest with a single eye.
  • adj. Designed to accommodate one person: a single bed.
  • adj. Unmarried.
  • adj. Lacking a partner: a single parent.
  • adj. Relating to the unmarried state: enjoys the single life.
  • adj. Of or relating to celibacy.
  • adj. Botany Having only one rank or row of petals: a single flower.
  • n. One that is separate and individual.
  • n. An accommodation for one person, as in a hotel.
  • n. An unmarried person.
  • n. Unmarried persons considered as a group: a bar for singles.
  • n. A one-dollar bill.
  • n. A phonograph record, especially a forty-five, having one song on each side.
  • n. A song on one of these sides.
  • n. A song, often from a full-length album or compact disk, that is released for airplay.
  • n. Baseball A hit by which a batter reaches first base safely; a one-base hit.
  • n. Sports A hit for one run in cricket.
  • n. Sports A golf match between two players.
  • n. Sports A tennis or badminton match between two players. Often used in the plural.
  • n. Sports A competition in which individuals compete against each other, as in rowing or figure skating.
  • transitive v. To choose or distinguish from others. Often used with out: We singled her out from the list of applicants.
  • transitive v. Baseball To cause (a base runner) to score or advance by making a one-base hit: singled him to second.
  • transitive v. Baseball To cause the scoring of (a run) by a one-base hit.
  • intransitive v. Baseball To make a single.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Not accompanied by anything else; one in number.
  • adj. Not divided in parts.
  • adj. Designed for the use of only one.
  • adj. Not married, and also not dating.
  • adj. Having only one rank or row of petals.
  • adj. Simple and honest; sincere, without deceit.
  • n. A 45 RPM vinyl record with one song on side A and one on side B.
  • n. A popular song released and sold (on any format) nominally on its own though usually has at least one extra track.
  • n. One who is not married.
  • n. A score of one run.
  • n. A hit in baseball where the batter advances to first base.
  • n. A tile that has different values (i.e., number of pips) in each end.
  • n. A bill valued at $1.
  • n. A one-way ticket.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A game with one player on each side, as in tennis.
  • n. One of the reeled filaments of silk, twisted without doubling to give them firmness.
  • n. A handful of gleaned grain.
  • v. 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.
  • v. To get a hit that advances the batter exactly one base.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. One only, as distinguished from more than one; consisting of one alone; individual; separate.
  • adj. Alone; having no companion.
  • adj. Hence, unmarried.
  • adj. Not doubled, twisted together, or combined with others.
  • adj. Performed by one person, or one on each side.
  • adj. Uncompounded; pure; unmixed.
  • adj. Not deceitful or artful; honest; sincere.
  • adj. Simple; not wise; weak; silly.
  • transitive v. To select, as an individual person or thing, from among a number; to choose out from others; to separate.
  • transitive v. To sequester; to withdraw; to retire.
  • transitive v. To take alone, or one by one.
  • intransitive v. To take the irrregular gait called single-foot; -- said of a horse. See single-foot.
  • n. A unit; one.
  • n. The reeled filaments of silk, twisted without doubling to give them firmness.
  • n. A handful of gleaned grain.
  • n. A game with but one player on each side; -- usually in the plural.
  • n. A hit by a batter which enables him to reach first base only.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Being a unit, as distinguished from a number: often used expletively for emphasis: as, not a single word was said.
  • Alone; by one's self or by itself; separate or apart from others; unaccompanied or unaided; detached; individual; particular.
  • Unmarried; also, pertaining to or involving celibacy: as, single life; the single state.
  • Unique; unmatched; singular; unusual.
  • Pertaining to one person or thing; individual, as opposed to common, general, or universal; also, pertaining to one class, set, pair etc.: as, a single dory (a boat manned by one person).
  • Private; relating to the affairs of an individual; not public; relating to one's self.
  • Free from combination, complication, or complexity; simple; consisting of one only.
  • Normal; sound; healthy: often applied to the eye, and in that connection used figuratively of simplicity or integrity of character or purpose.
  • Free from duplicity; sincere; honest; straightforward.
  • Not strong or heavy; weak: noting beer, ale, etc., and opposed to double or strong beverages.
  • Feeble; trifling; foolish; silly.
  • In botany, solitary: said of a flower when there is only one on a stem; also, in common usage, noting flowers which have only the normal number of floral envelops—that is, which are not double. See double, 6.
  • In anatomy and z oöl., not double, triple, etc.; not paired; azygous; simple; solitary; alone; one: generally emphatic, in implied comparison with things or parts of things that are ordinarily double, paired, several, etc.
  • See cell, 8.
  • (b ) By euphemism, a harlot or prostitute.
  • n. That which is single, in any sense of the word.
  • n. In falconry, a talon or claw.
  • n. The tail of an animal; properly, in hunting, the tail of the buck.
  • n. A handful of the gleanings of corn tied up.
  • To make single, separate, or alone; retire; sequester.
  • To select individually from among a number; choose out separately from others: commonly followed by out.
  • To lead aside or apart from others.
  • Nautical, to unite, so as to combine several parts into one: as, to single the tacks and sheets.
  • To separate; go apart from others: said specifically of a hunted deer when it leaves the herd.
  • Same as single-foot.
  • To sail before the wind; make head.
  • n. In whist, the score made by the winners when the game is 5 points up and rubbers are played, if the losers of any game are 3 or 4 up: as, ‘single, double, and the rub.’
  • n. In the extraction of antimony from its native sulphid, the manufacturers' name for the first crude product from melting the ore with scrap-iron. It generally contains about 91.5 per cent. antimony, 7 per cent. iron, and 1 per cent. sulphur.
  • n. In golf, two players playing against each other.
  • n. In furniture, silverware, and the like, a separate piece not belonging to a set.
  • n. One strand of sliver, roving thread, or yarn.
  • n. plural A commercial name in England for thin sheet-steel or -iron used as a foundation for tin-plate, having a thickness ranging from 0.238 to 0.35 of an inch, or from No. 4 to No. 20 B. W. G.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. being or characteristic of a single thing or person
  • adj. not divided among or brought to bear on more than one object or objective
  • n. a base hit on which the batter stops safely at first base
  • adj. used of flowers having usually only one row or whorl of petals
  • n. the smallest whole number or a numeral representing this number
  • adj. existing alone or consisting of one entity or part or aspect or individual
  • v. hit a single
  • adj. not married or related to the unmarried state
  • adj. having uniform application
  • adj. characteristic of or meant for a single person or thing

Etymologies

Middle English sengle, from Old French, from Latin singulus.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English sengle, from Old French sengle, from Latin singulus a diminutive from the root in simplex ("simple"). See simple, and compare singular. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • In the final version, the phrase "single point of failure" disappeared.

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  • It is being opposed by the Congressional leadership to the point that advocates at one committee hearing were ejected and arrested for even mentioning the term single-payer.

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  • The land question should have a distinct recognition as a true reform issue, and while committal to the policy signified by the term single tax, in its entirety, should be avoided, land speculation and monopoly should be condemned as a monstrous evil, and against that evil should be directed such special taxation of land values as will check and ultimately destroy it, without too rudely disturbing existing values.

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  • Held, accordingly, that the fourth section of the Act of Congress, of September 27th, 1850, granting by way of donation, lands in Oregon Territory, to every white settler or occupant, American half-breed Indians included, embraced within the term single man an unmarried woman.

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  • Make Me Proud; his title single with Rihanna only half engages her strength; and the title of the Stevie Wonder duet Doing It Wrong is cruelly accurate.

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  • A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years mere study of books.

    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    March 3, 2009