Definition of monologue in English:



  • 1A long speech by one actor in a play or film, or as part of a theatrical or broadcast programme:

    ‘he was reciting some of the great monologues of Shakespeare’
    ‘he had a long and exacting monologue at the end of the film’
    • ‘Moore starts the case against Clark in the opening monologue of the film.’
    • ‘The play starts off with an actor rehearsing a monologue for an acting competition.’
    • ‘In the first of three monologues we meet Andy, parking meter engineer with a very strange family.’
    • ‘The best bits of writing here are the monologues that have a truth and emotional sting about them - something much of the play lacks.’
    • ‘The actors conceived and workshopped their own monologues, creating a well integrated show despite the diverse subject matter.’
    • ‘The lights would rise on each musician as they had their solos, like theatrical monologues, then fade back into the darkness.’
    • ‘In a lot of scenes I come on and do these very brief, very tense monologues, and go off, each time to the point of breakdown.’
    • ‘Delivering the monologues are six actresses, each portraying a different type of mother.’
    • ‘These devices are also used as linking pieces between monologues, and help give the production a unified feel.’
    • ‘He does more with an eyebrow and a nod than most actors do with full monologues.’
    • ‘Carson would then perform a comic monologue which would end with an imaginary golf swing.’
    • ‘I could cut a few monologues, but the parts that don't advance the story are the funniest ones.’
    • ‘The acting is not always up to the high musical standard, and at times the monologues are almost inaudible beneath the band's volume.’
    • ‘And in early drafts there were long first-person monologues from Jonah's point of view.’
    • ‘Weaving history with poetry, music and drama, ten actors each recite an eight-minute monologue.’
    • ‘Lindsay also writes several dramatic monologues for cab drivers, gardeners, or barely disguised versions of his working self.’
    • ‘It is obviously not a play and, like its predecessor, it is a loosely knit series of monologues on birth and motherhood.’
    • ‘I was wondering if you have written anything you feel would be appropriate as a theatrical monologue.’
    • ‘This lends a surreal tone to proceedings, especially during Matilda's monologues about herself and family.’
    • ‘Aspiring movie stars in this crazy city are already rehearsing his final courtroom speech as an audition monologue.’
    soliloquy, speech, address, lecture, oration, sermon, homily
    dramatic monologue, interior monologue
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A long, tedious speech by one person during a conversation:
      ‘Fred carried on with his monologue as if I hadn't spoken’
      • ‘Finished with her tedious monologue, she started dividing us up into work groups.’
      • ‘At a meeting to discuss the takeover, he delivered a two-hour monologue: all because some doubting voices were raised over the price being offered.’
      • ‘The group discussion had ceased and the whacko had finished his ranting monologue on all the multiple talents of the doctor.’
      • ‘Naturally, because I was talking to him in my head, the whole conversation was a monologue, and it was all about me.’
      • ‘His evenings were devoted to a small circle of cronies to whom he delivered monologues on any subject that caught his fancy.’
      • ‘The brother entered into a monologue, the sort-of conversation that I had had with him a couple of weeks ago.’
      • ‘However, I find conversations more interesting than monologues.’
      • ‘He can't tell the difference between a conversation and a monologue.’
      • ‘Shug has no material prepared, but launches into a rambling monologue about his journey to the class.’
      • ‘We were going to see a two-way conversation replace a one-way monologue.’


Mid 17th century: from French, from Greek monologos speaking alone.