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[sol-i-tood, -tyood] /ˈsɒl ɪˌtud, -ˌtyud/
the state of being or living alone; seclusion:
to enjoy one's solitude.
remoteness from habitations, as of a place; absence of human activity:
the solitude of the mountains.
a lonely, unfrequented place:
a solitude in the mountains.
Origin of solitude
1325-75; Middle English < Middle French < Latin sōlitūdō. See soli-1, -tude
Related forms
[sol-i-tood-n-uh s, -tyood-] /ˌsɒl ɪˈtud n əs, -ˈtyud-/ (Show IPA),
1. retirement, privacy. Solitude, isolation refer to a state of being or living alone. Solitude emphasizes the quality of being or feeling lonely and deserted: to live in solitude. Isolation may mean merely a detachment and separation from others: to be put in isolation with an infectious disease. 2. loneliness. 3. desert, wilderness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for solitude
  • One of the chief pleasures of a book is mental solitude, that deep, quiet focus on an author's thoughts-and your own.
  • She balances hours of solitude in flight against days of intense encounters with purveyors of ideas.
  • Books require a certain quiet, a solitude that is all the more valuable for the way it can be achieved in public.
  • The best bosses make time to be with their family, to think in solitude and to stay healthy.
  • Contentment, she wrote, could be found through solitude and introspection.
  • His was the solitude, self-doubt and restlessness of dislocation and displacement.
  • Humans are social people, not grizzly bears living in solitude.
  • But these days a life of solitude is looking much brighter.
  • Wrong solitude vinegars the soul, right solitude oils it.
  • What you can do is find those qualities of presence, focus, and even solitude in your networked existence.
British Dictionary definitions for solitude


the state of being solitary or secluded
(poetic) a solitary place
Derived Forms
solitudinous, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin sōlitūdō, from sōlus alone, sole1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for solitude

mid-14c., from Old French solitude "loneliness" (14c.) and directly from Latin solitudinem (nominative solitudo) "loneliness, a being alone; lonely place, desert, wilderness," from solus "alone" (see sole (adj.)). "Not in common use in English until the 17th c." [OED]

A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; ... if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free. [Schopenhauer, "The World as Will and Idea," 1818]
Solitudinarian "recluse, unsocial person" is recorded from 1690s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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