Definition of singlet in English:



  • 1British A sleeveless garment worn under or instead of a shirt; a vest.

    • ‘Winter has settled in, you're not wearing a singlet under your business shirt and you have your first sneeze… she thinks you caught pneumonia and you're going to die.’
    • ‘Alas, after a while, the sight of board shorts, singlets, jandals and sunglasses will make you wince.’
    • ‘Tommy is wearing a baseball cap, a singlet and combat shorts, revealing several tattoos.’
    • ‘Equally as beautiful as his womenswear, this featured plain white singlets studded with gold sequins, low-slung cream trousers and kimono print shirts.’
    • ‘Others had on only singlets and cotton trousers as they jumped into the water.’
  • 2Physics
    A single unresolvable line in a spectrum, not part of a multiplet.

    • ‘To break supersymmetry using the F-term, one can add chiral multiplets that transform as singlets under the gauge symmetries in the theory.’
    • ‘Superimposing such a diffractive structure on an aspheric surface yields an achromatic singlet whose spherical and chromatic aberrations are corrected.’
    • ‘The singlet is detectable as a quintet at room temperature in methemoglobin with identical spectral features to those of the well characterized tyrosyl radical in photosystem II.’
    1. 2.1A state or energy level with zero spin, giving a single value for a particular quantum number.
      • ‘Its superconductivity is often assumed to be unconventional in that the Cooper pairs are not in a spin singlet state with s-wave symmetry, as with conventional superconductors.’
      • ‘A small singlet-triplet energy gap is known to favor intersystem crossing.’
      • ‘Energy can be transferred from the singlet state to the triplet state via intersystem crossing.’
      • ‘The reorganizational energy of the singlet ET was also calculated from the temperature-dependent data and found to be 0.89 eV.’
      • ‘Do aggregates of A2E have a higher singlet-oxygen quantum yield rather than monomers?’
  • 3Chemistry
    An atomic or molecular state in which all electron spins are paired.

    [as modifier] ‘singlet oxygen’
    • ‘The study of the excited states properties has shown that its photoreactivity in neutral aqueous medium is singlet initiated.’
    • ‘And where does the singlet oxygen, the energy source, come from?’
    • ‘It can thus be regarded as a simultaneous excitation of two triplets, whose coupling generates an overall singlet state.’
    • ‘However, reactive oxygen species generated by UVA radiation, particularly singlet oxygen, can also damage nucleic acids.’
    • ‘The origin of the initial spike observed upon detection of singlet oxygen luminescence remains unresolved.’


Mid 18th century (originally denoting a man's short jacket): from single (because the garment was unlined) + -et, on the pattern of doublet.