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solipsism

play
noun so·lip·sism \ˈsō-ləp-ˌsi-zəm, ˈsä-\

Simple Definition of solipsism

  • : a theory in philosophy that your own existence is the only thing that is real or that can be known

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of solipsism

  1. :  a theory holding that the self can know nothing but its own modifications and that the self is the only existent thing; also :  extreme egocentrism

solipsist

play \ˈsō-ləp-sist, ˈsä-ləp-, sə-ˈlip-\ noun

solipsistic

play \ˌsō-ləp-ˈsis-tik, ˌsä-\ adjective

solipsistically

play \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Did You Know?

Fans of René Descartes credit the French philosopher with introducing solipsism as a major problem of modern philosophy, but the word solipsism most likely sprang from a French satire written by Giulio Clemente Scotti in 1652 called La Monarchie des Solipses. The term wasn't used in English until the late 19th century, when solipsism, a composite of the Latin solus ("alone") and ipse ("self"), was applied purely in the philosophical sense. Recently the word has taken on another, more general sense, suggesting an ego-driven selfishness or self-indulgence.

Origin and Etymology of solipsism

Latin solus alone + ipse self


First Known Use: 1874


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