Definition of solipsism
: 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
solipsistplay \ˈsō-ləp-sist, ˈsä-ləp-, sə-ˈlip-\ noun
solipsisticplay \ˌsō-ləp-ˈsi-stik, ˌsä-\ adjective
solipsisticallyplay \ˌsō-ləp-ˈsi-sti-k(ə-)lē, ˌsä-\ adverb
solipsism was our Word of the Day on 10/03/2014. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of solipsism from the Web
Blowing up a week of forward progress bought dearly by Georgia campaign volunteers, congressional aides and donors large and small is the height of solipsism.
His preoccupations therein are with dualities, dichotomies and doubles: philanderer-penitent, solitude-solipsism, prince-pauper, Clark Kent-Superman, to name just a few.
Trump’s relentless solipsism can exhaust even some of his closest aides.
Solecism slipped into solipsism into full-blown narcissistic projection.
But there was, at least, an emergence from cultural stasis and solipsism into self-consciousness.
This is solipsism, not theatre (or, at least, not interesting theatre).
For Mr. Kaag, American philosophy has always grappled with the solipsism and disaffection produced by an outsize emphasis on the self.
The bitterness and solipsism of their debate offered an unnerving glimpse of American politics in a post-Christian age, devoid of the framework that has long bound the nation together.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'solipsism'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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: 1874See Words from the same year
SOLIPSISM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of solipsism for English Language Learners
: a theory in philosophy that your own existence is the only thing that is real or that can be known
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