Definition of singular in English:


Line breaks: sin¦gu|lar
Pronunciation: /ˈsɪŋgjʊlə


  • 1 Grammar (Of a word or form) denoting or referring to just one person or thing: the third person singular form of the verb
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    • In American English, collective nouns usually take a singular verb.
    • There are other singular words for classes or units of people.
    • ‘Please inform the writers that the names of teams take the singular verb,’ he says.
  • 1.1Single; unique: she always thought of herself as singular, as his only daughter
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    • And because of this singular fact, every single published estimate of Social Security income and outgo is just plain wrong.
    • Is it now official Republican theology that tax breaks are the singular solution to every single problem there is?
    • Out of this dichotomous set of associations has emerged a constellation of forces, ideas, images and experiences which have defined both the city and rural zones in unique and singular ways.
  • 3 Mathematics (Of a square matrix) having a zero determinant.
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    • The matrix was not singular, as the interaction observed variables were not linearly dependent on the original observed variables.
    • The programs will not analyze data where the matrix is singular as it is not positive definite.
    • Using the MCMC method in Loki, if the number of iterations is too small, then it is more likely that the estimates of the IBD matrices will be singular.
  • 4 Physics & Mathematics Relating to or of the nature of singularity.
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    • Each spectrum was analyzed as a linear combination of basis fluorescence spectra using a singular value decomposition algorithm.


Grammar Back to top  
  • 1A singular word or form.
    More example sentences
    • This difference between the two constructions follows from the fact that bare plurals, but not indefinite singulars, are acceptable topics.
    • It will be noted that singulars far outnumber plurals, also that the cherished object is overwhelmingly associated with a speech act participant (mainly the addressee) rather than with a third party.
    • Keep up the good work, and watch out for collective singulars!
  • 1.1 (the singular) The singular number: a word in the singular
    More example sentences
    • Feminine contrasts with both masculine and neuter, not only in the nominative and accusative singular, but in the genitive and dative singular as well.
    • You may have noticed I said rod in the singular in that last paragraph, with good reason.
    • This refers back to the dialectical relationship between movements in the plural and a movement in the singular.


Middle English (in the sense 'solitary, single', also 'beyond the average'): from Old French singuler, from Latin singularis, from singulus (see single).

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