Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The quality or condition of being singular.
  • noun A trait marking one as distinct from others; a peculiarity.
  • noun Something uncommon or unusual.
  • noun Computers A hypothetical future point in time when artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence and be able to self-replicate and improve itself autonomously.
  • noun Astronomy & Physics A point in space-time, such as a black hole, at which matter has infinite density and infinitesimal volume and the curvature of space-time is infinite.
  • noun Mathematics A point at which the derivative does not exist for a given function but every neighborhood of which contains points for which the derivative exists.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The state or character of being singular.
  • noun Separateness from others; solitariness; specifically, celibacy.
  • noun Individualism, as in conduct, opinion, characteristics, etc.
  • noun Uniqueness; the state of having no duplicate, parallel, or peer.
  • noun Unusualness; rareness; uncommon character; hence, specifically, rare excellence, value, eminence, or note.
  • noun Variation from established or customary usage; eccentricity; oddity; strangeness.
  • noun That which is singular; a singular person, thing, event, act, characteristic, mood, or the like; especially, an individual or personal peculiarity.
  • noun In mathematics, an exceptional element or character of continuum.
  • noun Synonyms Uncommonness, oddness.
  • noun Idiosyncrasy. See eccentric.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The quality or state of being singular; some character or quality of a thing by which it is distinguished from all, or from most, others; peculiarity.
  • noun Anything singular, rare, or curious.
  • noun Possession of a particular or exclusive privilege, prerogative, or distinction.
  • noun obsolete Celibacy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun the state of being singular, distinct, peculiar, uncommon or unusual
  • noun a point where all parallel lines meet
  • noun a point where a measured variable reaches unmeasurable or infinite value
  • noun mathematics the value or range of values of a function for which a derivative does not exist
  • noun physics a point or region in spacetime in which gravitational forces cause matter to have an infinite density; associated with black holes
  • noun A proposed point in the technological future at which artificial intelligences become capable of augmenting and improving themselves, leading to an explosive growth in intelligence.
  • noun obsolete Anything singular, rare, or curious.
  • noun obsolete Possession of a particular or exclusive privilege, prerogative, or distinction.
  • noun obsolete celibacy

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun strangeness by virtue of being remarkable or unusual
  • noun the quality of being one of a kind

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French singularite, from Late Latin singularitas ("singleness"), from Latin singularis ("single"); see singular.

Examples

Comments

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  • Ah! then you mean to say that this gentleman's smoke, instead of emulating the example of all other sorts of smoke, and going up the chimney, thinks proper to affect a singularity by taking the contrary direction?

    -- Cox and Box

    August 20, 2008

  • Does it also not have a flavor of being rare or strange or momentous ?

    August 20, 2008

  • I was thinking of this word in more of the scientific sense of the word: the central-most point of a black hole, where matter is crushed to infinite density, the pull of gravity is infinitely strong, and spacetime has infinite curvature.

    May 21, 2009

  • The concept of ultrasmart computers — machines with “greater than human intelligence�? — was dubbed “The Singularity�? in a 1993 paper by the computer scientist and science fiction writer Vernor Vinge. He argued that the acceleration of technological progress had led to “the edge of change comparable to the rise of human life on Earth.�?...

    The science fiction author Ken MacLeod described the idea of the singularity as “the Rapture of the nerds.�?

    The New York Times, The Coming Superbrain, by John Markoff, May 23, 2009

    May 25, 2009

  • 'I Dole On' should be the name used here for A1 eidolon, the comments made are of a nature that resembles the great 'Oz' behind a curtain of technocracy. The ability to have faith keeps the dream alive...

    July 2, 2009