# Singleton (mathematics)

In mathematics, a **singleton** (also known as a **unit set**^{[1]} or **one-point set**) is a set with exactly one element. For example, the set is a singleton whose single element is .

## Properties

Within the framework of Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory, the axiom of regularity guarantees that no set is an element of itself. This implies that a singleton is necessarily distinct from the element it contains,^{[1]} thus 1 and are not the same thing, and the empty set is distinct from the set containing only the empty set. A set such as is a singleton as it contains a single element (which itself is a set, but not a singleton).

A set is a singleton

, the number 1 is*defined*as the singleton

In

*A*, the axiom applied to

*A*and

*A*asserts the existence of which is the same as the singleton (since it contains

*A*, and no other set, as an element).

If *A* is any set and *S* is any singleton, then there exists precisely one

A singleton has the property that every function from it to any arbitrary set is injective. The only non-singleton set with this property is the empty set.

Every singleton set is an

^{free ultrafilters). Every net valued in a singleton subset $X$ of is an ultranet in $X.$ The partitions of a set (OEIS: A000110), if singletons are excluded then the numbers are smaller (OEIS: A000296). In category theory Structures built on singletons often serve as categories: The statement above shows that the singleton sets are precisely the terminal objects in the category Set of sets. No other sets are terminal. Any singleton admits a unique topological space structure (both subsets are open). These singleton topological spaces are terminal objects in the category of topological spaces and continuous functions. No other spaces are terminal in that category. Any singleton admits a unique zero objects in the category of groups and group homomorphisms. No other groups are terminal in that category. Definition by indicator functions Let S be a class defined by an indicator function $b:X\to \{0,1\}.$ Then S is called a singleton if and only if there is some $y\in X$ such that for all $x\in X,$ $b(x)=(x=y).$ Definition in Principia Mathematica The following definition was introduced by Whitehead and Russell[3] $\iota$‘$x={\hat {y}}(y=x)$ Df. The symbol $\iota$‘$x$ denotes the singleton $\{x\}$ and ${\hat {y}}(y=x)$ denotes the class of objects identical with $x$ aka $\{y:y=x\}$. This occurs as a definition in the introduction, which, in places, simplifies the argument in the main text, where it occurs as proposition 51.01 (p. 357 ibid.). The proposition is subsequently used to define the cardinal number 1 as $1={\hat {\alpha }}((\exists x)\alpha =\iota$‘$x)$ Df. That is, 1 is the class of singletons. This is definition 52.01 (p. 363 ibid.) See also Class (set theory) – Collection of sets in mathematics that can be defined based on a property of its members Isolated point – Point of a subset S around which there are no other points of S Uniqueness quantification – Logical property of being the one and only object satisfying a condition Urelement – Concept in set theory References .mw-parser-output .reflist{margin-bottom:0.5em;list-style-type:decimal}@media screen{.mw-parser-output .reflist{font-size:90%}}.mw-parser-output .reflist .references{font-size:100%;margin-bottom:0;list-style-type:inherit}.mw-parser-output .reflist-columns-2{column-width:30em}.mw-parser-output .reflist-columns-3{column-width:25em}.mw-parser-output .reflist-columns{margin-top:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .reflist-columns ol{margin-top:0}.mw-parser-output .reflist-columns li{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .reflist-upper-alpha{list-style-type:upper-alpha}.mw-parser-output .reflist-upper-roman{list-style-type:upper-roman}.mw-parser-output .reflist-lower-alpha{list-style-type:lower-alpha}.mw-parser-output .reflist-lower-greek{list-style-type:lower-greek}.mw-parser-output .reflist-lower-roman{list-style-type:lower-roman} ^ a b .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit;word-wrap:break-word}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .citation:target{background-color:rgba(0,127,255,0.133)}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free.id-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Lock-green.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited.id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration.id-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription.id-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg")right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background-size:contain;padding:0 1em 0 0}.mw-parser-output .cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;color:var(--color-error,#d33)}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{color:var(--color-error,#d33)}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#085;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit}@media screen{.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}html.skin-theme-clientpref-night .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911f}}@media screen and (prefers-color-scheme:dark){html.skin-theme-clientpref-os .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911f}}Stoll, Robert (1961). Sets, Logic and Axiomatic Theories. W. H. Freeman and Company. pp. 5–6. MR 3497013. ^ Whitehead, Alfred North; Bertrand Russell (1910). Principia Mathematica. Vol. I. p. 37. .mw-parser-output .hlist dl,.mw-parser-output .hlist ol,.mw-parser-output .hlist ul{margin:0;padding:0}.mw-parser-output .hlist dd,.mw-parser-output .hlist dt,.mw-parser-output .hlist li{margin:0;display:inline}.mw-parser-output .hlist.inline,.mw-parser-output .hlist.inline dl,.mw-parser-output .hlist.inline ol,.mw-parser-output .hlist.inline ul,.mw-parser-output .hlist dl dl,.mw-parser-output .hlist dl ol,.mw-parser-output .hlist dl ul,.mw-parser-output .hlist ol dl,.mw-parser-output .hlist ol ol,.mw-parser-output .hlist ol ul,.mw-parser-output .hlist ul dl,.mw-parser-output .hlist ul ol,.mw-parser-output .hlist ul ul{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .hlist .mw-empty-li{display:none}.mw-parser-output .hlist dt::after{content:": "}.mw-parser-output .hlist dd::after,.mw-parser-output .hlist li::after{content:" · ";font-weight:bold}.mw-parser-output .hlist dd:last-child::after,.mw-parser-output .hlist dt:last-child::after,.mw-parser-output .hlist li:last-child::after{content:none}.mw-parser-output .hlist dd dd:first-child::before,.mw-parser-output .hlist dd dt:first-child::before,.mw-parser-output .hlist dd li:first-child::before,.mw-parser-output .hlist dt dd:first-child::before,.mw-parser-output .hlist dt dt:first-child::before,.mw-parser-output .hlist dt li:first-child::before,.mw-parser-output .hlist li dd:first-child::before,.mw-parser-output .hlist li dt:first-child::before,.mw-parser-output .hlist li li:first-child::before{content:" (";font-weight:normal}.mw-parser-output .hlist dd dd:last-child::after,.mw-parser-output .hlist dd dt:last-child::after,.mw-parser-output .hlist dd li:last-child::after,.mw-parser-output .hlist dt dd:last-child::after,.mw-parser-output .hlist dt dt:last-child::after,.mw-parser-output .hlist dt li:last-child::after,.mw-parser-output .hlist li dd:last-child::after,.mw-parser-output .hlist li dt:last-child::after,.mw-parser-output .hlist li li:last-child::after{content:")";font-weight:normal}.mw-parser-output .hlist ol{counter-reset:listitem}.mw-parser-output .hlist ol>li{counter-increment:listitem}.mw-parser-output .hlist ol>li::before{content:" "counter(listitem)"\a0 "}.mw-parser-output .hlist dd ol>li:first-child::before,.mw-parser-output .hlist dt ol>li:first-child::before,.mw-parser-output .hlist li ol>li:first-child::before{content:" ("counter(listitem)"\a0 "}.mw-parser-output .navbox{box-sizing:border-box;border:1px solid #a2a9b1;width:100%;clear:both;font-size:88%;text-align:center;padding:1px;margin:1em auto 0}.mw-parser-output .navbox .navbox{margin-top:0}.mw-parser-output .navbox+.navbox,.mw-parser-output .navbox+.navbox-styles+.navbox{margin-top:-1px}.mw-parser-output .navbox-inner,.mw-parser-output .navbox-subgroup{width:100%}.mw-parser-output .navbox-group,.mw-parser-output .navbox-title,.mw-parser-output .navbox-abovebelow{padding:0.25em 1em;line-height:1.5em;text-align:center}.mw-parser-output .navbox-group{white-space:nowrap;text-align:right}.mw-parser-output .navbox,.mw-parser-output .navbox-subgroup{background-color:#fdfdfd}.mw-parser-output .navbox-list{line-height:1.5em;border-color:#fdfdfd}.mw-parser-output .navbox-list-with-group{text-align:left;border-left-width:2px;border-left-style:solid}.mw-parser-output tr+tr>.navbox-abovebelow,.mw-parser-output tr+tr>.navbox-group,.mw-parser-output tr+tr>.navbox-image,.mw-parser-output tr+tr>.navbox-list{border-top:2px solid #fdfdfd}.mw-parser-output .navbox-title{background-color:#ccf}.mw-parser-output .navbox-abovebelow,.mw-parser-output .navbox-group,.mw-parser-output .navbox-subgroup .navbox-title{background-color:#ddf}.mw-parser-output .navbox-subgroup .navbox-group,.mw-parser-output .navbox-subgroup .navbox-abovebelow{background-color:#e6e6ff}.mw-parser-output .navbox-even{background-color:#f7f7f7}.mw-parser-output .navbox-odd{background-color:transparent}.mw-parser-output .navbox .hlist td dl,.mw-parser-output .navbox .hlist td ol,.mw-parser-output .navbox .hlist td ul,.mw-parser-output .navbox td.hlist dl,.mw-parser-output .navbox td.hlist ol,.mw-parser-output .navbox td.hlist ul{padding:0.125em 0}.mw-parser-output .navbox .navbar{display:block;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .navbox-title .navbar{float:left;text-align:left;margin-right:0.5em}body.skin--responsive .mw-parser-output .navbox-image img{max-width:none!important}@media print{body.ns-0 .mw-parser-output .navbox{display:none!important}}.mw-parser-output .navbar{display:inline;font-size:88%;font-weight:normal}.mw-parser-output .navbar-collapse{float:left;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .navbar-boxtext{word-spacing:0}.mw-parser-output .navbar ul{display:inline-block;white-space:nowrap;line-height:inherit}.mw-parser-output .navbar-brackets::before{margin-right:-0.125em;content:"[ "}.mw-parser-output .navbar-brackets::after{margin-left:-0.125em;content:" ]"}.mw-parser-output .navbar li{word-spacing:-0.125em}.mw-parser-output .navbar a>span,.mw-parser-output .navbar a>abbr{text-decoration:inherit}.mw-parser-output .navbar-mini abbr{font-variant:small-caps;border-bottom:none;text-decoration:none;cursor:inherit}.mw-parser-output .navbar-ct-full{font-size:114%;margin:0 7em}.mw-parser-output .navbar-ct-mini{font-size:114%;margin:0 4em}html.skin-theme-clientpref-night .mw-parser-output .navbar li a abbr{color:var(--color-base)!important}@media(prefers-color-scheme:dark){html.skin-theme-clientpref-os .mw-parser-output .navbar li a abbr{color:var(--color-base)!important}}@media print{.mw-parser-output .navbar{display:none!important}}vteSet theoryOverview Set (mathematics) Axioms Adjunction Choice countable dependent global Constructibility (V=L) Determinacy projective Extensionality Infinity Limitation of size Pairing Power set Regularity Union Martin's axiom Axiom schema replacement specification Operations Cartesian product Complement (i.e. set difference) De Morgan's laws Disjoint union Identities Intersection Power set Symmetric difference Union ConceptsMethods Almost Cardinality Cardinal number (large) Class Constructible universe Continuum hypothesis Diagonal argument Element ordered pair tuple Family Forcing One-to-one correspondence Ordinal number Set-builder notation Transfinite induction Venn diagram Set types Amorphous Countable Empty Finite (hereditarily) Filter base subbase Ultrafilter Fuzzy Infinite (Dedekind-infinite) Recursive Singleton Subset · Superset Transitive Uncountable Universal Theories Alternative Axiomatic Naive Cantor's theorem Zermelo General Principia Mathematica New Foundations Zermelo–Fraenkel von Neumann–Bernays–Gödel Morse–Kelley Kripke–Platek Tarski–Grothendieck ParadoxesProblems Russell's paradox Suslin's problem Burali-Forti paradox Set theorists Paul Bernays Georg Cantor Paul Cohen Richard Dedekind Abraham Fraenkel Kurt Gödel Thomas Jech John von Neumann Willard Quine Bertrand Russell Thoralf Skolem Ernst Zermelo }