Definition of singleton in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsɪŋɡ(ə)lt(ə)n/


1A single person or thing of the kind under consideration: splitting the clumps of plants into singletons
More example sentences
  • The variation found was due mainly to unique changes in single plants (singletons).
1.1 [often as modifier] A child or animal born singly, rather than one of a multiple birth: singleton boys
More example sentences
  • The intrauterine environment is also different in multiple pregnancy compared with singleton pregnancy.
  • While the chance of a cesarean delivery is higher in twin than in singleton births, about half of women expecting twins can have a normal vaginal delivery.
  • Of the 322,704 live singleton births during the study period, 8,938 were linked to a motor vehicle crash during pregnancy.
1.2 informal A person who is not married or in a long-term relationship.
Example sentences
  • The sample included people in both long and short relationships as well as singletons.
  • As the unattached singleton with married mates there is a tendency to lament the demise of your once action-packed social life.
  • Calling all desperate, lonely singletons - this is the biggest news of the year for you lot.
1.3(In card games, especially bridge) a card that is the only one of its suit in a hand: declarer drew trumps, finding that West had a singleton [as modifier]: a singleton spade
More example sentences
  • If you have a singleton or void suit, you take a big risk that the declarer will find lots of cards of this suit in the talon when he exchanges, and your partner's stop in the suit might not be enough to beat the contract.
  • This card may be either a singleton or a top card or subsequently revealed card in a stack.
1.4 Mathematics & Logic A set which contains exactly one element: Lewis argues that the relation of a singleton to its only member is mysterious
More example sentences
  • The set-theorist Ernst Zermelo proposed that the number is the empty set and for each number n, the successor of n is the singleton of n, so that 1 is, 2 is, 3 is, etc.


Late 19th century: from single, on the pattern of simpleton.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: single|ton

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