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solitary

[sol-i-ter-ee] /ˈsɒl ɪˌtɛr i/
adjective
1.
alone; without companions; unattended:
a solitary passer-by.
2.
living alone; avoiding the society of others:
a solitary existence.
3.
by itself; alone:
one solitary house.
4.
characterized by the absence of companions:
a solitary journey.
5.
done without assistance or accompaniment; done in solitude:
solitary chores.
6.
being the only one:
a solitary exception.
7.
characterized by solitude, as a place; unfrequented, secluded, or lonely:
a solitary cabin in the woods.
8.
Zoology. living habitually alone or in pairs, as certain wasps.
Compare social (def 11).
noun, plural solitaries.
9.
a person who lives alone or in solitude, or avoids the society of others.
10.
a person who lives in solitude from religious motives.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English < Latin sōlitārius alone, by itself, solitary, equivalent to sōlit(ās) solitude (sōl(us) sole1 + -itās -ity) + -ārius -ary
Related forms
solitarily, adverb
solitariness, noun
unsolitary, adjective
Synonyms
1. lone. 7. isolated, retired, sequestered, remote. 9, 10. hermit, recluse. 10. eremite.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for solitary
  • In short, there was never a single, solitary finding that offered evidence of a lack of accuracy in the science being done.
  • We did a post on how to build a bee box for solitary nesting bees earlier this week.
  • Fossil collecting typically is a pretty solitary exercise.
  • He expected odious solitary scavengers but instead found sophisticated hunters living in complex clans.
  • Wilder wrote frequently to friends and family, ruminating on literature, theater and his solitary life.
  • It is a solitary state, and hence cannot in itself account for the whole of the reported experience.
  • Today, of course, his solitary obsession has become a national park drawing half a million visitors a year.
  • Old males are solitary, more prone to predation and scavenging, hence the rarity of specimens.
  • On one of her solitary girlhood walks, she once found herself accompanied by a lightning ball.
  • It looks over a green belt of profuse tropical vegetation intersected by a solitary railway line.
British Dictionary definitions for solitary

solitary

/ˈsɒlɪtərɪ; -trɪ/
adjective
1.
following or enjoying a life of solitude: a solitary disposition
2.
experienced or performed alone: a solitary walk
3.
(of a place) unfrequented
4.
(prenominal) single; sole: a solitary speck in the sky
5.
having few companions; lonely
6.
(of animals) not living in organized colonies or large groups: solitary bees, a solitary elephant Compare social (sense 7), gregarious (sense 2)
7.
(of flowers) growing singly
noun (pl) -taries
8.
a person who lives in seclusion; hermit; recluse
9.
(informal) short for solitary confinement
Derived Forms
solitarily, adverb
solitariness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin sōlitārius, from sōlussole1
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 solitary
adj.

mid-14c., "alone, living alone," from Old French solitaire, from Latin solitarius "alone, lonely, isolated," from solitas "loneliness, solitude," from solus "alone" (see sole (adj.)). Meaning "single, sole, only" is from 1742. Related: Solitarily; solitariness. As a noun from late 14c.; from 1854 as short for solitary confinement (that phrase recorded from 1817).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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11
11
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