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[sing-gyuh-ler] /ˈsɪŋ gyə lər/
extraordinary; remarkable; exceptional:
a singular success.
unusual or strange; odd; different:
singular behavior.
being the only one of its kind; distinctive; unique:
a singular example.
separate; individual.
Grammar. noting or pertaining to a member of the category of number found in many languages that indicates that a word form has one referent or denotes one person, place, thing, or instance, as English boy and thing, which are singular nouns, or goes, a singular form of the verb go.
Compare dual (def 4), plural (def 4).
  1. of or relating to something individual, specific, or not general.
  2. (of a proposition) containing no quantifiers, as “Socrates was mortal.”.
  1. of or relating to a linear transformation from a vector space to itself that is not one-to-one.
  2. of or relating to a matrix having a determinant equal to zero.
Obsolete, private.
Obsolete, single.
noun, Grammar
the singular number.
a form in the singular.
Origin of singular
1300-50; Middle English < Latin singulāris. See single, -ar1
Related forms
singularly, adverb
singularness, noun
supersingular, adjective
unsingular, adjective
unsingularly, adverb
unsingularness, noun
Can be confused
single, singular.
1–4. peculiar. 2. bizarre, queer, curious. 3. uncommon, rare. 4. single.
1. usual. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for singularly
  • The well-conditioned thin are made furious by the fatties-the abstemious being singularly disposed to fury.
  • It's a singularly inaptly chosen quote if the intent is to discredit his logical skills.
  • It is singularly well done-quite a model of précis, with a little expatiation and ornament betraying the poet's hand.
  • Deceptively simple in plot and singularly musical in its voice, it is a study of the place where our past becomes our present.
  • However, such claims are not that different from those made three years ago-which singularly failed to bear fruit.
  • He used singularly awkward, almost absurd up-and-down and sidewise movements of his body to give emphasis to his arguments.
  • He used singularly awkward, almost absurd, up-and-down and sidewise movements of his body to give emphasis to his arguments.
  • But when the moment arrived at the weekend, administration officials conceded, the timing was singularly inopportune.
  • His third directorial try subsequently sealed his reputation as a singularly gifted musical director.
  • Bull thistle flowers heads usually are found singularly at the end of each stem branch.
British Dictionary definitions for singularly


remarkable; exceptional; extraordinary: a singular feat
unusual; odd: a singular character
denoting a word or an inflected form of a word indicating that not more than one referent is being referred to or described
(logic) of or referring to a specific thing or person as opposed to something general
  1. the singular number
  2. a singular form of a word
Derived Forms
singularly, adverb
singularness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin singulārissingle
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
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Word Origin and History for singularly

late 14c., "exclusively, alone, solely; uniquely; individually; in an unusual way, especially," from singular + -ly (2).



mid-14c., "alone, apart; being a unit; special, unsurpassed," from Old French singuler "personal particular; distinctive; singular in number" (12c., Modern French singulier) or directly from Latin singularis "single, solitary, one by one, one at a time; peculiar, remarkable," from singulus (see single (adj.)). Meaning "remarkably good, unusual, rare, separated from others (by excellence), uncommon" is from c.1400 in English; this also was a common meaning of Latin singularis.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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singularly in Culture

singular definition

In nouns, pronouns, and verbs, the grammatical form that refers to only one thing. In the following sentence, the singular words are italicized: “The police officer stops anyone who crosses before the light changes.” (Compare plural; see agreement.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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