Definitions

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

  • noun A dramatic or literary form of discourse in which a character talks to himself or herself or reveals his or her thoughts when alone or unaware of the presence of other characters.
  • noun A specific speech or piece of writing in this form.
  • noun The act of speaking to oneself.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A talking to one's self; a discourse or talk by a person who is alone, or which is not addressed to any one even when others are present.
  • noun A written composition containing such a talk or discourse, or what purports to be one.

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

  • noun The act of talking to one's self; a discourse made by one in solitude to one's self; monologue.
  • noun A written composition, reciting what it is supposed a person says to himself.

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

  • noun drama The act of a character speaking to himself so as to reveal his thoughts to the audience.
  • noun A speech or written discourse in this form.
  • verb To issue a soliloquy.

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

  • noun a (usually long) dramatic speech intended to give the illusion of unspoken reflections
  • noun speech you make to yourself

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Late Latin sōliloquium : Latin sōlus, alone; see s(w)e- in Indo-European roots + Latin loquī, to speak; see tolkw- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1595–1605; From Late Latin sōliloquium in the title of St. Augustine's Soliloquiorum libri duo, from sōlus ("only, sole") + loquor ("I speak").

Examples

  • Says Greenburg, noting the show also starred Brett Favre when his Hamlet-like soliloquy is once again being treated as news: "I'm happy with the show — an excellent show."

    Gutter talk snipes 'Joe Buck Live' debut

  • The lengthy trumpet solo near the end, which the program notes advise is an orchestrated soliloquy from the opera on a John Donne poem, was only the most prominent example.

    Music review: Adams's 'Doctor Atomic' by BSO at Strathmore

  • She or he has a fundamental interest in its practicability, in fact his or her own identity and degree of self-awareness depends upon it: the conversation of soliloquy is "our sovereign remedy and gymnastic method" (84).

    Post-Secular Conviviality

  • The “to be or not to be” soliloquy is presented against a vast seascape where waves crash wildly into massive shoreline stones.

    Current Movie Reviews, Independent Movies - Film Threat

  • 1. 4Lady Macbeth speaks in soliloquy about driving a implicitly squeamish Mac. to seize a throne.

    Philadelphia Reflections: Shakspere Society of Philadelphia

  • 1. 4Lady Macbeth speaks in soliloquy about driving a implicitly squeamish Mac. to seize a throne.

    Archive 2009-11-01

  • He had a 400-word soliloquy that was all over the place, from supposed public puzzlement over some of the judge's decisions, a quip about the senator's son going to University of Pennsylvania, followed by the senator's recollection of speaking at Princeton.

    Flavia Colgan: Alito Drowning in Words

  • “You speak a soliloquy as if you were on the stage, and seem to account me a cipher,” said the old admiral suddenly.

    The Ball at Sceaux

  • “You speak a soliloquy as if you were on the stage, and seem to account me a cipher,” said the old admiral suddenly.

    The Ball at Sceaux

  • In narrative, no doubt, the writer has the alternative of telling that his personages thought so and so, inferred thus and thus, and arrived at such and such a conclusion; but the soliloquy is a more concise and spirited mode of communicating the same information; and therefore thus communed, or thus might have communed, the Lord of Glenvarloch with his own mind.

    The Fortunes of Nigel

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • What do I feel about this word? On the one hand it sounds beautiful: the vowels and consonants run into, over and through each other to form a word which seems to flow off my tongue. On the other hand I feel compelled to take some kind of stand against such a confusing spelling. Surely there should be an extra vowel after the "u"? Surely there should be something, well, different in it? The meaning is also not very useful: a long monologue in which the character (in a film or play) talks to himself (and to the audience) about his thoughts. Automonologue would be the far-less-elegant Greek-derived alternative. Having seen that I think I can conclude my own by saying I like it.

    December 7, 2006

  • What do I feel about this word? On the one hand it sounds beautiful: the vowels and consonants run into, over and through each other to form a word which seems to flow off my tongue. On the other hand I feel compelled to take some kind of stand against such a confusing spelling. Surely there should be an extra vowel after the "u"? Surely there should be something, well, different in it? The meaning is also not very useful: a long monologue in which the character (in a film or play) talks to himself (and to the audience) about his thoughts. Automonologue would be the far-less-elegant Greek-derived alternative. Having seen that I think I can conclude my own by saying I like it.

    December 7, 2006

  • What do I feel about this word? On the one hand it sounds beautiful: the vowels and consonants run into, over and through each other to form a word which seems to flow off my tongue. On the other hand I feel compelled to take some kind of stand against such a confusing spelling. Surely there should be an extra vowel after the "u"? Surely there should be something, well, different in it? The meaning is also not very useful: a long monologue in which the character (in a film or play) talks to himself (and to the audience) about his thoughts. Automonologue would be the far-less-elegant Greek-derived alternative. Having seen that I think I can conclude my own by saying I like it.

    December 7, 2006

  • It is indeed a beautiful word to say out loud.

    November 12, 2007

  • Wonderful word.

    January 26, 2008

  • You don't say?

    January 26, 2008