Definition of solo in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsəʊləʊ/

noun (plural solos)

1A thing done by one person unaccompanied, in particular:
1.1 (plural solos or soli /ˈsəʊli/) A piece of vocal or instrumental music or a dance, or a part or passage in one, for one performer: the opening bassoon solo is relatively bland Petipa often left the danseur to arrange his own brief solo
More example sentences
  • This also affects the soli which all require an absolutely clean portamento and a beautifully crafted rubato.
  • He published accordion music and French instrumental solos.
  • The jazz inflected vocal and instrumental solos could have been written by Weill.
1.2An unaccompanied flight by a pilot in an aircraft: his first ride in his aircraft would also be his first solo
More example sentences
  • Most first solos are no more than a couple or three circles around the airport traffic pattern, but it's a big moment in a student pilot's training.
  • Starting bright and early in the morning, he guaranteed to have you up for your first solo by sundown.
  • Is it possible to turn a paraglider pilot into an ATOS pilot in thirteen flights, and on their fourth solo?
2 (also solo whist) [mass noun] A card game resembling whist in which the players make bids and the highest bidder plays against the others in an attempt to win a specified number of tricks.
Example sentences
  • Solo whist is a plain-trick game with trumps and bidding, closely related to the more elaborate and now obsolete game of Boston.
2.1 [count noun] A bid by which a player undertakes to win five tricks in solo whist.
Example sentences
  • For an Ace solo, a five card suit to A A 10 will normally capture over 60 points.
  • If a player bids prop and everyone else passes, the proposing player has the choice of converting the prop to a solo or any higher bid.
  • It is also common for the scores to increase for higher solos.
3A motorbike without a sidecar: 50 races—solos and sidecars—should make for a thrilling showdown
More example sentences
  • He had raced solos for several years and had ridden as a passenger since 1979.
  • I still believe that speedway solos are the most exciting form of motorsport to watch, and incredibly difficult.

adjective& adverb

1For or done by one person alone; unaccompanied: [as adjective]: a solo album [as adverb]: she’d spent most of her life flying solo
More example sentences
  • In 1996, Nyolo released a successful solo acoustic album Tribu, followed by Multiculti later on.
  • He's promoting his new solo acoustic album Going Somewhere, but he will also play a few old favourites.
  • His latest solo piano album was nominated for five Grammy Awards, and the festival will feature some of the work for which he is best known.
unaccompanied, single-handed, companionless, unescorted, unattended, unchaperoned, independent, lonely, solitary;
alone, all alone, on one's own, by oneself/itself, without companions, in a solitary state
archaic single, sole
unaccompanied, alone, all alone, on one's own, single-handed, single-handedly, by oneself/itself, without companions, companionless, unescorted, unattended, unchaperoned, unaided, by one's own efforts, independently, under one's own steam, in a solitary state
1.1 [as adjective] (Of a motorbike) without a sidecar: a solo machine
More example sentences
  • He also competes in hill climb events on a 1947 Vincent 1000 cc solo machine and chalked up wins at Saltburn, Dalby Forest and Scarborough.
  • There were some, without being sexist, there were some female solo riders, which was very impressive, to be honest.
  • Colin Philpot, a former Sidecar GP pilot from Burnham, kept the traditional solo riders toes with consistent high finishes.

verb (soloes, soloing, soloed)

[no object]
1Perform something unaccompanied, in particular:
Example sentences
  • The half closed with CBS forward Mark Fleming soloing through from centre-forward and kicking the ball to the net as CBS led 3-2 to 1-0 at half time.
  • And it continued in the 13 th minute when again Dunne won the ball before soloing up the middle and her hand pass found Kirwan who rounded her marker to coolly slot home her side's second goal.
  • Unlike the moms (or, to be more precise and fair, my perception of the moms), we dads have no clear cultural script for soloing with our kids in public.
1.1Perform an unaccompanied piece of music or a part or passage in one: you’re in danger of forgetting that you’re accompanying rather than soloing
More example sentences
  • Jeffery soloed with the Plano Symphony Orchestra and the Southern Methodist University Meadows Symphony Orchestra.
  • Jon's suite, which makes up the entirety of the original Concerto record, is nothing better than a bad mixture of hard rock soloing and a rather childish idea of classical music.
  • The teaching approach focuses on two areas: comping and soloing.
1.2Fly an aircraft unaccompanied: she had been flying for twelve years and had soloed on her seventeenth birthday
More example sentences
  • Dan soloed in a sailplane at 14, and when he was old enough, moved onto powered aircraft.
  • Within two years he started taking flying lessons and soloed on 15 August 1937 in a 40-hp Jaylor Cub.
  • At 10 to 25 cents an hour, it took me about two years to have the money to log the eight hours necessary to solo at age 16.
1.3Undertake solo climbing: I was back next day with two friends, soloing again while they roped up I soloed back up it in the last light [with object]: he did not solo the South Face of Lhotse
More example sentences
  • We ate some lunch, played on the top rope, and soloed around the lower sections of a few climbs before yanking our gear and heading for the Mad Moose.
  • It is only 50 or 60 feet to the start of the climb and before the Frenchies know what is happening, we are soloing up the first pitch.
  • You can get away with one cordalette per station when soloing.


Late 17th century (as a musical term): from Italian, from Latin solus 'alone'.

Words that rhyme with solo

bolo, criollo, polo, tombolo

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: solo

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