Etymology
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single (adj.)
early 14c., "unmarried," from Old French sengle, sangle "alone, unaccompanied; simple, unadorned," from Latin singulus "one, one to each, individual, separate" (usually in plural singuli "one by one"), from PIE *semgolo‑, suffixed (diminutive?) form of root *sem- (1) "one; as one, together with." Meaning "consisting of one unit, individual, unaccompanied by others" is from late 14c. Meaning "undivided" is from 1580s. Single-parent (adj.) is attested from 1966.
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single (n.)
c. 1400, "unmarried person," mid-15c., "a person alone, an individual," from single (adj.). Given various technical meanings from 16c. Sports sense is attested from 1851 (cricket), 1858 (baseball). Of single things from 1640s. Meaning "one-dollar bill" is from 1936. Meaning "phonograph record with one song on each side" is from 1949. Meaning "unmarried swinger" is from 1964; singles bar attested from 1969. An earlier modern word for "unmarried or unattached person" is singleton (1937).
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single (v.)
"to separate from the herd" (originally in deer-hunting, often with forth or out), 1570s, from single (adj.). Baseball sense of "to make a one-base hit" is from 1899 (from the noun meaning "one-base hit," attested from 1858). Related: Singled; singling.
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single-handed (adj.)
1709, "done alone," from single (adj.) + -handed. Meaning "using one hand only" is from 1844. Related: Single-handedly.
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single-minded (adj.)
1570s, "sincere, honest" (a sense also in single-hearted); meaning "having a single aim or purpose" is from 1860. See single (adj.) + -minded. Related: Single-mindedly; single-mindedness.
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singlet (n.)
"unlined woolen garment," c. 1746, from single (adj.) in clothing sense of "unlined, of one thickness" (late 14c.) + -et, apparently in imitation of doublet.
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singleton (n.)
"single card of a suit in a hand," 1876, originally in whist, from single (adj.); compare simpleton, etc. Extended early 20c. to other instances of singularity.
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singular (adj.)
mid-14c., "alone, apart; being a unit; special, unsurpassed," from Old French singuler "personal particular; distinctive; singular in number" (12c., Modern French singulier) or directly from Latin singularis "single, solitary, one by one, one at a time; peculiar, remarkable," from singulus "one, one to each, individual, separate" (see single (adj.)). Meaning "remarkably good, unusual, rare, separated from others (by excellence), uncommon" is from c. 1400 in English; this also was a common meaning of Latin singularis.
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mononuclear (adj.)

"having a single nucleus," 1866; see mono- "single" + nuclear.

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