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[suh-lil-uh-kwee] /səˈlɪl ə kwi/
noun, plural soliloquies.
an utterance or discourse by a person who is talking to himself or herself or is disregardful of or oblivious to any hearers present (often used as a device in drama to disclose a character's innermost thoughts): Hamlet's soliloquy begins with “To be or not to be.”.
the act of talking while or as if alone.
Origin of soliloquy
1595-1605; < Late Latin sōliloquium a talking to oneself, soliloquy, equivalent to sōli- soli-1 + loqu(ī) to speak + -ium -ium; see -y3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for soliloquy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This soliloquy of Bascomb's gave Matt fresh food for thought.

    Motor Matt's "Century" Run Stanley R. Matthews
  • The soliloquy, too, is startlingly characteristic of Hamlet.

    The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris
  • Here Bryda's soliloquy was abruptly broken in on by Mrs Symes' voice.

    Bristol Bells Emma Marshall
  • Is not this the same soul which also in a soliloquy questions fate?

    The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris
  • And here he gained the garden-gate: so he stopped his soliloquy, and gave his horse to his groom.

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
British Dictionary definitions for soliloquy


noun (pl) -quies
the act of speaking alone or to oneself, esp as a theatrical device
a speech in a play that is spoken in soliloquy: Hamlet's first soliloquy
Usage note
Soliloquy is sometimes wrongly used where monologue is meant. Both words refer to a long speech by one person, but a monologue can be addressed to other people, whereas in a soliloquy the speaker is always talking to himself or herself
Word Origin
C17: via Late Latin sōliloquium, from Latin sōlus sole + loquī to speak
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 soliloquy

1610s, from Late Latin soliloquium "a talking to oneself," from Latin solus "alone" (see sole (adj.)) + loqui "speak" (see locution). Also used in translation of Latin "Liber Soliloquiorum," a treatise by Augustine, who is said to have coined the word, on analogy of Greek monologia (see monologue). Related: Soliloquent.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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