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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.
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. 2014.
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Examples for soliloquy
  • There's a boom microphone in the apartment capturing what has now turned into a soliloquy.
  • She felt much better for the tears in which this soliloquy ended.
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
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Word Origin and History for soliloquy
c.1600, from L.L. soliloquium "a talking to oneself," from L. solus "alone" + loqui "speak." First used in translation of L. "Liber Soliloquiorum," a treatise by Augustine, who is said to have coined the word, on analogy of Gk. monologia (see monologue). Verb soliloquize is recorded from 1759.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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