Definition of solo in US English:

solo

adjective & adverb

  • For or done by one person alone; unaccompanied.

    as adjective ‘a solo album’
    as adverb ‘she'd spent most of her life flying solo’
    • ‘Ray went solo some years back and has carved out his own niche in the market playing shows in many parts of the country.’
    • ‘Wermuth was the first artist to produce a solo textile exhibition in Bulgaria in 1963.’
    • ‘Her first solo public exhibition, in 1965, was at a theatre in Prague, and after that she began to be included in exhibitions of ‘naive’ artists.’
    • ‘Several unhappy attempts at solo careers later, the hatchet has finally been buried, for a second album.’
    • ‘He had become the youngest person to complete a solo transatlantic crossing at 12.50 GMT on Sunday when he was still 15.’
    • ‘Is the work as satisfying as your more personal, solo artistic projects?’
    • ‘He's promoting his new solo acoustic album Going Somewhere, but he will also play a few old favourites.’
    • ‘Imagine what would have happened to an album of double-digit minute solo piano improvisations in the hands of one with lesser talent.’
    • ‘In 1996, Nyolo released a successful solo acoustic album Tribu, followed by Multiculti later on.’
    • ‘When I'm solo I have more time with each sound, I can get a lot more out of each sound.’
    • ‘When she went solo she changed her name to Deborah, but found the fans only wanted Blondie.’
    • ‘The solo acoustic worked wonders for him, as he seemed to enjoy doing magic tricks on his guitar.’
    • ‘If some of those churches embrace a policy of isolation then they should do it solo and not try to recruit others to follow suit.’
    • ‘There is a bitter-sweet edge to Liam Browne's preparations for his first-ever solo art exhibition.’
    • ‘When the rest of the boys discovered a solo piano version from 1967, they simply layered it over the original backing track and added choirs of eerily reverbed vocals.’
    • ‘Is it time for a solo female anchor of one of these newscasts?’
    • ‘His latest solo piano album was nominated for five Grammy Awards, and the festival will feature some of the work for which he is best known.’
    • ‘And last week he added to his wacky resume by becoming the first man to fly an aircraft solo around the world without stopping or refueling.’
    • ‘He'll pilot the sub solo - to depths where humans aren't meant to go.’
    • ‘When you finally reached the level of flying the plane solo, the satisfaction was incredible.’
    unaccompanied, single-handed, companionless, unescorted, unattended, unchaperoned, independent, lonely, solitary
    unaccompanied, alone, all alone, on one's own, single-handed, single-handedly, by itself, by oneself, without companions, companionless, unescorted, unattended, unchaperoned, unaided, by one's own efforts, independently, under one's own steam, in a solitary state
    View synonyms

noun

  • 1A piece of vocal or instrumental music or a dance, or a part or passage in one, for one performer.

    • ‘The ex-punk, classically outlandish Clark gave Trevitt a superb solo to music of Erik Satie, titled Satie Stud.’
    • ‘The festival includes classes for choirs, vocal solos, duets, groups, pianoforte, strings, woodwind, guitar ensembles, composition, brass and keyboards.’
    • ‘The Song Book solos are little musical epigrams, which happen to survey popular Twenties piano styles from an often-ironic distance.’
    • ‘The choreography demands very strong technique, much coordination, solos, duet dances.’
    • ‘Arpino's great choreographic imagination was at work throughout the suite of dances - solos, pas de deux, pas de trois, etc.’
    • ‘We had many elaborate presentations - clarinet concertos, violin solos, flute duets and saxophone trios.’
    • ‘During the 96th festival there have been classes for choirs, vocal solos, duets, groups, strings, woodwind, brass and keyboard players.’
    • ‘Lifar's retelling of the Icarus myth is essentially a solo danced against the choral movement of a group.’
    • ‘The three-hour service - without flowers, rings, solos, or instrumental music - is similar to an Amish worship service.’
    • ‘American Ballet Theatre principal Susan Jaffe set the tone for an evening of extraordinary dance with her opening solo as the Dying Swan.’
    • ‘Rasta Thomas integrated himself beautifully into the ensemble and danced two respectable solos.’
    • ‘He published accordion music and French instrumental solos.’
    • ‘A variety of musical talent will be performing, including rising star James Loynes, with guests performing Lloyd Webber, piano solos and popular music.’
    • ‘She was working in a chorus line and also doing an eccentric solo - a fan dance on pointe.’
    • ‘Boasting more than 12,000 total titles, the Willis catalog also includes everything from band and orchestra music and guitar solos, to operettas and manuscript paper.’
    • ‘His sectional verse anthems incorporate solos, duets, trios, and passages for organ alone.’
    • ‘This also affects the soli which all require an absolutely clean portamento and a beautifully crafted rubato.’
    • ‘Then followed skit, vocal solo, instrumental solo, group dance and group music competitions.’
    • ‘Then there is the weird idea of having the entire corps lightly but sappily wave their hands in time to the music when anyone dances a solo.’
    • ‘The jazz inflected vocal and instrumental solos could have been written by Weill.’
  • 2An unaccompanied flight by a pilot in an aircraft.

    • ‘Is it possible to turn a paraglider pilot into an ATOS pilot in thirteen flights, and on their fourth solo?’
    • ‘Most first solos are no more than a couple or three circles around the airport traffic pattern, but it's a big moment in a student pilot's training.’
    • ‘On my first solo I went out and jumped fences in a cotton field and chased field workers.’
    • ‘On Dec. 30, 1982, I was ready for my final flight of the year: the navigation solo.’
    • ‘Starting bright and early in the morning, he guaranteed to have you up for your first solo by sundown.’
  • 3A card game in which one player plays against the others in an attempt to win a specified number of tricks.

    • ‘Solo whist is a plain-trick game with trumps and bidding, closely related to the more elaborate and now obsolete game of Boston.’

verb

[no object]
  • 1Perform an unaccompanied piece of music or a part or passage in one.

    • ‘Jon's suite, which makes up the entirety of the original Concerto record, is nothing better than a bad mixture of hard rock soloing and a rather childish idea of classical music.’
    • ‘When he wasn't soloing there was too much vamping and unimaginative and predictable harmonic progressions.’
    • ‘It slides almost seamlessly into ‘Flute Thang’, which lives up to its name with extensive flute soloing over piano arpeggios and short guitar bursts.’
    • ‘Frisell often takes a back seat, echoing the melody lines or soloing in spare, minimalist phrases that resolve in undulating chords.’
    • ‘Thus, a pianist can practice comping or soloing in the bebop style by turning down the keyboard channel and then playing along with the other instruments.’
    • ‘His jovial keyboard soloing hardly makes up for the lack of any true musical prowess.’
    • ‘Yet others are concerned with the attainment of skills in soloing.’
    • ‘The event, in which competitors show their enthusiasm for rock music by strumming, thrashing, soloing and generally cutting loose on an imaginary electric guitar, has attracted competitors from around the world.’
    • ‘Tenorman Marsh, who died while soloing on stage in 1987 at the age of 60, was one of the great improvisers in jazz history.’
    • ‘Why should it be just aimless jamming and soloing, which you see in bands like The Grateful Dead.’
    • ‘He also encouraged the nine supporting vocalists to take turns soloing throughout the set.’
    • ‘The teaching approach focuses on two areas: comping and soloing.’
    • ‘Jeffery soloed with the Plano Symphony Orchestra and the Southern Methodist University Meadows Symphony Orchestra.’
    • ‘No one part of the mix overpowered the other, even when band members started soloing.’
    • ‘So it's really a kora album, with Ali only occasionally soloing or adding the odd spoken word comment.’
    • ‘I noticed that he doesn't look at his hands much, particularly when soloing.’
    • ‘You can hear Michael Jackson soloing on ‘Morning Glow’ and then warbling ‘Corner of the Sky’ with his brothers.’
    • ‘His ragged, yet soulful voice is a perfect fit; his guitar playing, both slide and lead soloing, complements Weir's aggressive rhythm support and Jimmy Herring's fluid leads.’
    • ‘All the Brown siblings have soloed with various symphonies, and collectively, the Brown children have had thirteen solo appearances with the Utah Symphony.’
    • ‘Like Orthrelm, their songs are based on incredibly complex sections of guitar soloing: long runs of notes falling over each other in an attempt to be the first lemming off the cliff.’
  • 2Fly an aircraft unaccompanied.

    • ‘I soloed in a Jenny in 1923, and it was equipped with glowing instruments.’
    • ‘He soloed in an airplane before getting his driver's license, but his real obsession was designing and building model planes.’
    • ‘Dan soloed in a sailplane at 14, and when he was old enough, moved onto powered aircraft.’
    • ‘After a few weeks of flying with an instructor, I soloed in a Stearman PT - 17 Kaydet.’
    • ‘I don't recommend using a PC simulator until after you solo.’
    • ‘Within two years he started taking flying lessons and soloed on 15 August 1937 in a 40-hp Jaylor Cub.’
    • ‘He and his brother, Randy, both soloed on the same day.’
    • ‘The men are college students from all over the USA who had soloed in Civil Pilot Training and were chosen for advanced training on floats.’
    • ‘He flew a total of 56.9 hours and had still not soloed.’
    • ‘Most of the AAF cadets soloed in three or four hours.’
    • ‘At 10 to 25 cents an hour, it took me about two years to have the money to log the eight hours necessary to solo at age 16.’
    • ‘At Winslow, Arizona - I got instruction in a Commonwealth Skyranger and moved on to solo in a Champ.’
    • ‘The Navy said we should solo after eight hours of dual.’
    • ‘However, the commander told me that I had not soloed in ten hours and he was going to wash me out.’
    • ‘Originally from Waco, Texas, he learned to fly with his father and soloed at age 14.’
    • ‘After eight hours of instruction, he soloed - on floats.’
    • ‘There was a certain amount of trauma about if you would solo and when.’
    • ‘I soloed in 7.4-hr and was the first of my group to go solo.’
    • ‘The Stearman was fun to fly and I soloed in eight and a half hours.’
    • ‘Four weeks later, I soloed a single-control Douglas B - 23.’
    1. 2.1 Undertake solo climbing.
      • ‘We ate some lunch, played on the top rope, and soloed around the lower sections of a few climbs before yanking our gear and heading for the Mad Moose.’
      • ‘Mike, Mark and Doug where soloing up to the start of the second pitch of Greenwall via Banana then traversing right.’
      • ‘You can get away with one cordalette per station when soloing.’
      • ‘By the end of 2002, I had climbed the fourteeners, and soloed 36 of them in winter.’
      • ‘It is only 50 or 60 feet to the start of the climb and before the Frenchies know what is happening, we are soloing up the first pitch.’

Origin

Late 17th century (as a musical term): from Italian, from Latin solus ‘alone’.

Pronunciation

solo

/ˈsōlō//ˈsoʊloʊ/