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[sol-ip-siz-uh m] /ˈsɒl ɪpˌsɪz əm/
Philosophy. the theory that only the self exists, or can be proved to exist.
extreme preoccupation with and indulgence of one's feelings, desires, etc.; egoistic self-absorption.
Origin of solipsism
1880-85; sol(i)-1 + Latin ips(e) self + -ism
Related forms
solipsismal, adjective
solipsist, noun, adjective
[sol-ip-sis-tik] /ˌsɒl ɪpˈsɪs tɪk/ (Show IPA),
Can be confused
solecism, solipsism. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for solipsism
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I realize now that I may have been falling into the trap of solipsism, “who watches the quad,” et cetera, type of thing.

    On Handling the Data M. I. Mayfield
  • The philosophic system becomes a solipsism, a pure lyric expression of the appetites of human nature.

    Creative Intelligence John Dewey, Addison W. Moore, Harold Chapman Brown, George H. Mead, Boyd H. Bode, Henry Waldgrave, Stuart James, Hayden Tufts, Horace M. Kallen
  • Thus idealists are wedded to solipsism irrevocably; and it is a happy marriage, only the name of the lady has to be changed.

    Winds Of Doctrine George Santayana
  • This theory is also called Subjective Idealism or solipsism.

British Dictionary definitions for solipsism


(philosophy) the extreme form of scepticism which denies the possibility of any knowledge other than of one's own existence
Derived Forms
solipsist, noun, adjective
solipsistic, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Latin sōlus alone + ipse self
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 solipsism

1871, coined from Latin solus "alone" (see sole (adj.)) + ipse "self." The view or theory that self is the only object of real knowledge or the only thing that is real. "The identification of one's self with the Absolute is not generally intended, but the denial of there being really anybody else" [Century Dictionary].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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solipsism in Culture
solipsism [(sol-uhp-siz-uhm, soh-luhp-siz-uhm)]

The belief that all reality is just one's own imagining of reality, and that one's self is the only thing that exists.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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