1. Not accompanied by another or others; solitary.
a. Consisting of one part, aspect, or section: a single thickness; a single serving.
b. Having the same application for all; uniform: a single moral code for all.
c. Consisting of one in number: She had but a single thought, which was to escape.
3. Not divided; unbroken: a single slab of ice.
a. Separate from others; individual and distinct: Every single child will receive a gift.
b. Having individual opponents; involving two individuals only: single combat.
a. Honest; undisguised: a single adoration.
b. Wholly attentive: You must judge the contest with a single eye.
6. Designed to accommodate one person or thing: a single bed.
a. Not married or involved in a romantic relationship: Once he knew she was single, he asked her to go out.
b. Relating to a state of being unmarried or uninvolved in a romantic relationship: enjoys the single life.
8. Botany Having only one rank or row of petals: a single flower.
1. One that is separate and individual.
2. Something capable of carrying, moving, or holding one person or thing at a time, as a bed or a hotel room.
a. A person who is not married or involved in a romantic relationship.
b. singles Such persons considered as a group: a bar for singles.
4. A one-dollar bill.
a. A phonograph record, especially a forty-five, having one song on each side.
b. A song on one of these sides.
c. A song, often from a full-length album or compact disc, that is released for airplay.
6. Baseball A hit enabling the batter to reach first base. Also called one-bagger, one-base hit.
a. A hit for one run in cricket.
b. A golf match between two players.
c. often singles A tennis or badminton match between two players.
d. singles A competition in which individuals compete against each other, as in rowing or figure skating.
v. sin·gled, sin·gling, sin·gles
a. To cause (a base runner) to score or advance by hitting a single: singled him to second.
b. To cause the scoring of (a run) by hitting a single.
To hit a single.
To choose or distinguish from others: We singled her out from the list of applicants.
[Middle English sengle, from Old French, from Latin singulus; see sem-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.