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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ But Pauline Daniels has created a whole new interpretation of the uproarious soliloquy.
▪ My own soliloquy, my own trial came with that offer.
▪ One way of doing this is to use the soliloquy or aside, such flexible resources on the Elizabethan stage.
▪ Terentia goes offstage, and in a soliloquy, Dycarbas explains his actions.
▪ The second actor, the accused, immediately begins a soliloquy of defence.
▪ We should hope that Hughes, having taken his soliloquy, will one day transcribe more of these asides.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Soliloquy \So*lil"o*quy\, n.; pl. Soliloquies. [L. soliloquium; solus alone + loqui to speak. See Sole ly, and Loquacious.]

  1. The act of talking to one's self; a discourse made by one in solitude to one's self; monologue.

    Lovers are always allowed the comfort of soliloquy.

  2. A written composition, reciting what it is supposed a person says to himself.

    The whole poem is a soliloquy.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1610s, from Late Latin soliloquium "a talking to oneself," from Latin solus "alone" (see sole (adj.)) + loqui "speak" (see locution). Also used in translation of Latin "Liber Soliloquiorum," a treatise by Augustine, who is said to have coined the word, on analogy of Greek monologia (see monologue). Related: Soliloquent.


n. 1 (context drama English) The act of a character speaking to themselves so as to reveal their thoughts to the audience. 2 A speech or written discourse in this form. vb. (context very rare English) To issue a soliloquy.

  1. n. speech you make to yourself [syn: monologue]

  2. a (usually long) dramatic speech intended to give the illusion of unspoken reflections


A soliloquy (from Latin solo "to oneself" + loquor "I talk") is a device often used in drama when a character speaks to himself or herself, relating thoughts and feelings, thereby also sharing them with the audience, giving off the illusion of being a series of unspoken reflections. If other characters are present, they keep silent and/or are disregarded by the speaker.

The term soliloquy is distinct from a monologue or an aside: a monologue is a speech where one character addresses other characters; an aside is a (usually short) comment by one character towards the audience, though during the play it may seem like the character is addressing him or herself.

Soliloquies were frequently used in dramas but went out of fashion when drama shifted towards realism in the late 18th century.

Soliloquy (song)

"Soliloquy" is a 1945 song composed by Richard Rodgers, with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, written for their 1945 musical Carousel, where it was introduced by John Raitt.

The now jobless carousel barker Billy Bigelow, the antihero of the musical, sings this seven-and-a-half minute song just after he has learned he is about to become a father. In it, he happily daydreams over what it would be like to be a father to a boy, but midway through the song, he is horrified and disappointed to realize that it could turn out to be a girl. The song immediately becomes more tender, as he begins to like the idea. At song's end, he considers that a girl needs the very best a father can offer, and decides to get money to provide for her. It is this idea that spurs him on to help his criminal pal Jigger Craigin in committing a robbery, an act which ultimately leads to personal disaster for Billy.

Frank Sinatra had recently become a father when he recorded "Soliloquy" for the first time on May 28, 1946. With the time limitation of about 3:30 on a 10" 78-rpm record his 7:57 long recording was released on Columbia's Masterwork label (the classical division) as two sides of a 12" record.

The song is extremely unusual in that it requires the singer to sing solo (and occasionally speak) for a full seven-and-a-half minutes, in the manner of an operatic aria, without the benefit of an accompanying choral group "taking up the slack", as is usually the case in long musical numbers (e.g. Ol' Man River). The lengthy song Glitter and Be Gay, from Leonard Bernstein's Candide, makes a similar requirement of the soprano performing it.

Soliloquy (album)

Soliloquy is a 1991 album by McCoy Tyner released on the Blue Note label. Like Revelations (1987) and Things Ain't What They Used to Be (1989) it was recorded at Merkin Hall (without an audience) and features solo performances by Tyner. The Allmusic review by Scott Yanow states that "McCoy Tyner always sounds in prime form and these diverse songs bring out the best in his passionate style. Highly recommended".

Soliloquy (disambiguation)

Soliloquy (from Latin: "talking by oneself") is a device often used in drama.

Soliloquy may also refer to:

  • Soliloquy (2002 film), a 2002 film by Jacques Zanetti, starring Diahnne Abbott and Drena De Niro
  • Soliloquy (2003 film), a 2003 film by Todd Albertson
  • Soliloquy (album), an 1991 live album by McCoy Tyner
  • Soliloquy (song), a 1945 song composed by Richard Rodgers

Usage examples of "soliloquy".

In a low voice, the man above them was reciting the familiar soliloquy from Hamlet.

Banquo, the whole scene has been very carefully ordered so that Macbeth, the convention of the soliloquy having changed over four centuries, will not seem to be within hearing distance of his brother officers.

I suggest this as an explanation for the fact that some whales deliver a continuous soliloquy, without repeating themselves, for a full eight minutes.

Here is a very over-simplified example, this time expressed in the form of a subjective soliloquy rather than a computer simulation.

As always, the subjective soliloquy is intended for illustration only.

Balcazar seldom invited any kind of riposte when he was in soliloquy mode.

As he rode back his soliloquy was broken by a strange sound from beyond the belt of trees.

I interpret it, occurs in the soliloquy he utters outside the banqueting hall at Inverness, which gives a paradigm in little of his general movement in the play from intense psychic activity in anticipation of an action to the stripping away and narrowing down that every action entails as it creates its own devouring vortex.

Likewise, he contemplates in the soliloquy the gap between the performance of a deed and its consequences as a deed performed, but soon all deeds begin to show an ultimate incompleteness.

In his soliloquy before the regicide, Macbeth acknowledges that his deed will entail all the kinds of violence civilization has been struggling to suppress since it first began: violence between the guest and the host, violence by subjects against a monarch, and violence among kinspeople.

After a brief soliloquy, in which Prometheus expresses the passionate wish that he might impart feeling to his lifeless images, Epimetheus appears as a second representative of the gods.

Acts Goethe subsequently added, as the opening of a third Act, a soliloquy of Prometheus, written in the following year.

He has stated this intention in a soliloquy before the battle and now he sends an officer to do the job.

Hamlet enters, musing, with the soliloquy that is the most famous speech in all of Shakespeare spoken at this point.

Falstaff is encountered near Coventry in a long soliloquy that shows him at his very worst, and in a situation where the audience must find it hard indeed to feel anything but disgust.