Definition of singularity in US English:



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

    ‘he believed in the singularity of all cultures’
    • ‘But certainty does not necessarily mean singularity.’
    • ‘Instead it emphasized the uniqueness, singularity, and indexical immediacy of the art object itself.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Cultural singularity cannot prevail in a commercial world because monotony conflicts with the consumer's natural curiosity.’
    • ‘I do not think that the expression ‘a’ does carry any necessary implication of singularity.’
    • ‘For all his foibles, we need his steel spine and singularity of purpose.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘By the 1980s the way Christian Democracy came to be imagined by its opponents mapped it onto the disastrous alternative pattern of national singularity.’
    • ‘Saying too little about the divinity of Christ and his unique singularity within history is the risk involved.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This unique singularity constitutes the beginning of the universe - of matter, energy, space, time, and all physical laws.’
    • ‘For environmental historians, the book offers a case study of unusual depth and singularity.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In democratic times, on the other hand, historians generalize, pursue abstractions, and obliterate human singularity and agency by privileging only impersonal historical forces.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Its uniqueness resides in its singularity as a mainstream Hollywood film containing sympathetic portrayals of Beat concerns.’
    • ‘Without diminishing their singularity or their achievement, I would still like to see them as each carrying forward an old and honourable tradition.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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).’
    uniqueness, distinctiveness, difference, individuality, particularity
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A peculiarity or odd trait.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Beyond such singularities, however, lay his vision of Canada and Canadians.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The city is the arena of multiple singularities, packed densely with each intensely individual life living out its deeply personal destiny.’
      idiosyncrasy, quirk, trait, foible, peculiarity, oddity, eccentricity, abnormality
      View synonyms
  • 2Mathematics Physics
    A point at which a function takes an infinite value, especially in space-time when matter is infinitely dense, as at the center of a black hole.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Within the singularity, matter is infinitely compressed into a region of infinite density.’
  • 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’


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