adjective \ˈsä-lə-ˌter-ē\

: without anyone or anything else : not involving or including anyone or anything else

: done by a person who is alone

: separate from other people or things

Full Definition of SOLITARY

a :  being, living, or going alone or without companions
b :  saddened by isolation
:  unfrequented, desolate <a solitary seashore>
a :  taken, passed, or performed without companions <a solitary ramble>
b :  keeping a prisoner apart from others <solitary confinement>
:  being at once single and isolated <a solitary example>
a :  occurring singly and not as part of a group or cluster <flowers terminal and solitary>
b :  not gregarious, colonial, social, or compound <solitary bees>
sol·i·tar·i·ly \ˌsä-lə-ˈter-ə-lē\ adverb
sol·i·tar·i·ness \ˈsä-lə-ˌter-ē-nəs\ noun

Examples of SOLITARY

  1. He took a solitary walk on the beach.
  2. A solitary house stood on top of the cliff.
  3. Most cats are solitary creatures.
  4. He's a very solitary man.

Origin of SOLITARY

Middle English, solitarie, from Anglo-French, from Latin solitarius, from solitas aloneness, from solus alone
First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with SOLITARY

actuary, adversary, airy-fairy, ancillary, antiquary, apiary, arbitrary, aviary, axillary, bacillary, beriberi, bestiary, biliary, black raspberry, Bloody Mary, boysenberry, breviary, budgetary, calamari, calamary, candleberry, Canterbury, capillary, carpellary, cassowary, catenary, cautionary, cavitary, cemetery, centenary, certiorari, checkerberry, chinaberry, cometary, commentary, commissary, condottiere, coralberry, corollary, coronary, culinary, customary, dictionary, dietary, dignitary, dromedary, dysentery, elderberry, emissary, estuary, farkleberry, February, formulary, fragmentary, fritillary, functionary, funerary, honorary, huckleberry, intermarry, janissary, January, lamasery, lapidary, lectionary, legendary, legionary, lingonberry, literary, loganberry, luminary, mammillary, mandatary, maxillary, medullary, mercenary, miliary, military, millenary, milliary, millinery, missionary, momentary, monastery, mortuary, necessary, ordinary, ossuary, partridgeberry, pensionary, pigmentary, planetary, Pondicherry, prebendary, presbytery, pulmonary, quaternary, red mulberry, reliquary, rowanberry, salivary, salmonberry, salutary, sanctuary, sanguinary, sanitary, secondary, secretary, sedentary, seminary, silverberry, sour cherry, stationary, stationery, statuary, subcontrary, sublunary, sugarberry, sumptuary, syllabary, temporary, tertiary, thimbleberry, Tipperary, Tom and Jerry, topiary, tributary, tutelary, Typhoid Mary, unitary, urinary, vestiary, Virgin Mary, visionary, voluntary, vulnerary, Waterbury, whortleberry, winterberry


plural solitar·ies

Definition of SOLITARY

:  one who lives or seeks to live a solitary life :  recluse
:  solitary confinement in prison <put him in solitary>

Examples of SOLITARY

  1. The prisoner was kept in solitary.
  2. <weary of European civilization, the painter Paul Gauguin famously abandoned France to become a solitary in the South Seas>

First Known Use of SOLITARY

15th century

Related to SOLITARY


adjective \ˈsäl-ə-ˌter-ē\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of SOLITARY

: occurring singly and not as part of a group <a solitary lesion>


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