Definitions

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

  • noun Music A composition or passage for an individual voice or instrument, with or without accompaniment.
  • noun A performance by a single singer or instrumentalist.
  • noun Games Any of various card games in which one player singly opposes others.
  • adjective Music Composed, arranged for, or performed by a single voice or instrument.
  • adjective Made or done by a single individual.
  • adverb Unaccompanied; alone.
  • intransitive verb To perform a solo.
  • intransitive verb To fly an airplane without a companion or an instructor, especially for the first time.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In music, alone; not combined with other voices or instruments of equal importance; not concerted. A solo passage may be accompanied, however, by voices or instruments of less importance.
  • noun It. pl. soli (-li), E. pl. solos (-lōz).
  • noun A melody, movement, or work intended for or performed by a single performer, vocal or instrumental, with or without accompaniment. Opposed to concerted piece, whether chorus, duet, trio, or for a number of instruments.
  • noun A game of cards, played usually by four persons, with a euchre pack.
  • noun In card-playing, a bid to play without a partner or without discarding from the hand, as in solo whist and skat.

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

  • noun (Mus.) A tune, air, strain, or a whole piece, played by a single person on an instrument, or sung by a single voice.
  • adjective (Music) Performing, or performed, alone; uncombined, except with subordinate parts, voices, or instruments; not concerted.

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

  • noun music A piece of music for one performer.
  • noun A job or performance done by one person alone.
  • noun A card game similar to whist in which each player plays against the others in turn without a partner.
  • noun A single shot of espresso.
  • adjective Without a companion or instructor.
  • adjective Of, or relating to, a musical solo.
  • verb To perform a solo.
  • verb To perform something in the absence of anyone else.
  • verb Gaelic football To drop the ball and then toe-kick it upward into the hands.

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

  • verb fly alone, without a co-pilot or passengers
  • adjective composed or performed by a single voice or instrument
  • noun a flight in which the aircraft pilot is unaccompanied
  • noun a musical composition for one voice or instrument (with or without accompaniment)
  • noun any activity that is performed alone without assistance
  • verb perform a piece written for a single instrument
  • adverb without anybody else or anything else

Etymologies

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

[Italian, from Latin sōlus, alone; see s(w)e- in Indo-European roots.]

Examples

  • A _full anthem_ is one containing no solo parts; a _solo anthem_ is one in which the solo part is predominant over the chorus, while a _verse anthem_ is one in which the chorus parts alternate with passages for concerted solo voices (_i. e._, trios, quartets, etc.).

    Music Notation and Terminology

  • Dick Reese's violin solo is to be one of our titbits and Kit Reese is in every tableau and the three small girls have the cutest flag-drill.

    Rilla of Ingleside

  • Luckily, it hasn't all come at the same time, [laughs] I think that's what you call a solo career.

    Bono On Bono

  • Thompson's solo is a cry from the heart, both a reflection of the violence, the tortured mind of Wells and the women he slaughtered.

    Michael Giltz: Music: Richard Thompson at Town Hall

  • The drum solo is one of the more dreaded conventions in rock but he made it a delight.

    Michael Giltz: Music: Richard Thompson at Town Hall

  • A nifty tear-jerker featuring extortionists, some fine Robin solo work, the backfiring of Bruce's playboy pose, and (I have to admit) some questionable family-law procedure.

    Happy anniversary, you old bat | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment

  • Following her successful stint as eye-candy for Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole is to hopefully bugger off to the States and never return, while the four other ones (whose names your Correspondent can't be bothered to look up) have all announced straight-to-bargain-bin solo projects, cameo roles in soap operas and kiss'n'tell exposees of how they worked their way through the entire Liverpool squad in one night.

    Girls Aloud Sign New Contract

  • Thompson's solo is a cry from the heart, both a reflection of the violence, the tortured mind of Wells and the women he slaughtered.

    Michael Giltz: Music: Richard Thompson at Town Hall

  • Following her successful stint as eye-candy for Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole is to hopefully bugger off to the States and never return, while the four other ones (whose names your Correspondent can't be bothered to look up) have all announced straight-to-bargain-bin solo projects, cameo roles in soap operas and kiss'n'tell exposees of how they worked their way through the entire Liverpool squad in one night.

    Archive 2009-02-01

  • The drum solo is one of the more dreaded conventions in rock but he made it a delight.

    Michael Giltz: Music: Richard Thompson at Town Hall

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