Definition of singularity in English:



  • 1mass noun The state, fact, quality, or condition of being singular.

    ‘he believed in the singularity of all cultures’
    • ‘For all his foibles, we need his steel spine and singularity of purpose.’
    • ‘In democratic times, on the other hand, historians generalize, pursue abstractions, and obliterate human singularity and agency by privileging only impersonal historical forces.’
    • ‘Instead it emphasized the uniqueness, singularity, and indexical immediacy of the art object itself.’
    • ‘Cultural singularity cannot prevail in a commercial world because monotony conflicts with the consumer's natural curiosity.’
    • ‘Acting ethically therefore does not mean acting in accordance with a universal principle but responding to the needs and demands of the other in her own uniqueness and singularity.’
    • ‘By the 1980s the way Christian Democracy came to be imagined by its opponents mapped it onto the disastrous alternative pattern of national singularity.’
    • ‘I do not think that the expression ‘a’ does carry any necessary implication of singularity.’
    • ‘On the other hand an apple is a primary object, or object of mathematics, when we consider only its primary qualities of shape and singularity (quantity).’
    • ‘I asked a question about what happens when one singularity in the antagonism is subsumed or occupied by those who are meant to represent the third singularity.’
    • ‘In the course of the 21st century, at the latest in the second half of this century, the present singularity of the American superpower will progressively wither away.’
    • ‘But certainty does not necessarily mean singularity.’
    • ‘For environmental historians, the book offers a case study of unusual depth and singularity.’
    • ‘This unique singularity constitutes the beginning of the universe - of matter, energy, space, time, and all physical laws.’
    • ‘Without diminishing their singularity or their achievement, I would still like to see them as each carrying forward an old and honourable tradition.’
    • ‘This means Washington must take a critical look at NATO and the United Nations, neither of which reflects America's true singularity as the world's only superpower.’
    • ‘Theory suggests that this singularity might be a window to another part of our Universe, or even to another universe entirely, in a way reminiscent of Lewis Carroll's Alice Through the Looking Glass.’
    • ‘Finally the author keeps her singularity even when in a crowd, and picks up her pen and records grief or laughter, describing the world as it appears to her, or as it does not appear to her.’
    • ‘Saying too little about the divinity of Christ and his unique singularity within history is the risk involved.’
    • ‘Anything that could not be said unequivocally by the voice of reason belonged to empirical singularity, to the private sphere, and had nothing to do with genuine education.’
    • ‘Its uniqueness resides in its singularity as a mainstream Hollywood film containing sympathetic portrayals of Beat concerns.’
    uniqueness, distinctiveness, difference, individuality, particularity
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    1. 1.1count noun A peculiarity or odd trait.
      ‘it is a singularity of the book that it contains such a wealth of illustrations’
      • ‘The more I think about this, and as I write it, it rather does seem less a quirky singularity, and more of an onrushing descent into a foggy loopiness.’
      • ‘In another example, Deleuze calls attention to very small children, as yet unformed as individuals, who all tend to resemble one another except in their singularities - a smile, a gesture.’
      • ‘The city is the arena of multiple singularities, packed densely with each intensely individual life living out its deeply personal destiny.’
      • ‘Beyond such singularities, however, lay his vision of Canada and Canadians.’
      idiosyncrasy, quirk, trait, foible, peculiarity, oddity, eccentricity, abnormality
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  • 2Mathematics Physics
    A point at which a function takes an infinite value, especially in space–time when matter is infinitely dense, such as at the centre of a black hole.

    • ‘Penrose introduced the scope of modern physics and followed with a description of possible models of the universe based on criteria from the theory of relativity, including the effect of singularities.’
    • ‘Within the singularity, matter is infinitely compressed into a region of infinite density.’
    • ‘Whether the singularities existed or not, the world's leading relativists spent the next 47 years searching for a solution to Einstein's field equation, which would describe the geometry of space around a rotating star.’
    • ‘If neutron degeneracy is not enough to resist the star's collapse it will continue to shrink until the matter is all compressed into an infinitely small, infinitely dense point called a singularity.’
    • ‘The entire mass of the star is concentrated at a point called a singularity.’
  • 3usually the singularityA hypothetical moment in time when artificial intelligence and other technologies have become so advanced that humanity undergoes a dramatic and irreversible change.

    ‘maybe the singularity just happened, and we didn't notice’
    • ‘A range of dates is given for the advent of the singularity.’
    • ‘It is important to point out mind-uploading is not a key factor of the singularity.’
    • ‘The public might panic over accepting new and untested technologies that bring us closer to the singularity, like cloning and genetically engineered foods.’
    • ‘From an environmental perspective, the Singularity can be thought of as the point at which technology and nature become one.’
    • ‘You also have the Singularity though most writers haven't had the courage to approach that one in fiction.’


Middle English: from Old French singularite, from late Latin singularitas, from singularis ‘alone (of its kind)’ (see singular).