sol·i·tude | \ ˈsä-lə-ˌtüd , -ˌtyüd \

Definition of solitude 

1 : the quality or state of being alone or remote from society : seclusion

2 : a lonely place (such as a desert)

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for solitude

solitude, isolation, seclusion mean the state of one who is alone. solitude may imply a condition of being apart from all human beings or of being cut off by wish or circumstances from one's usual associates. a few quiet hours of solitude isolation stresses detachment from others often involuntarily. the isolation of the village in winter seclusion suggests a shutting away or keeping apart from others often connoting deliberate withdrawal from the world or retirement to a quiet life. lived in pastoral seclusion

Examples of solitude in a Sentence

She wished to work on her novel in solitude. He enjoyed the peace and solitude of the woods.

Recent Examples on the Web

Big Bend National Park, Texas, miles from nowhere, millions of stars, ultimate solitude. Paul Daugherty,, "Paul Daugherty: What's on your bucket list, Cincinnati sports fans?," 14 June 2018 And yet, listening equipment has retained the personal solitude that smartphones have partly eroded. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Apple's Airpods Are an Omen," 12 June 2018 What emerges is the definitive film about 60s counterculture: its global and conspiratorial fantasies, its euphoric collective utopias, and its descent into solitude, madness, and dissolution. Patrick Friel, Chicago Reader, "Film / Foreign / History / On Video / Politics Five must-see lo-o-o-ong films," 9 Feb. 2018 Eaten in solitude, mangoes generate words, as the mind rummages for language to describe precisely what the senses are experiencing. Chandrahas Choudhury, WSJ, "On the Great Indian Mango Trail," 6 July 2018 Marthas — post-menopausal women of god — cook and clean for these families in solitude and a lot of silence., "The Handmaid's Tale Still Has A White Female Privilege Problem," 11 July 2018 Here is a love poem, an ode to solitude and freedom. WSJ, "Five Best: Oren Harman on Science and Literature," 5 July 2018 The common man has had to confront it, attacking or attacked, in solitude or with an enormous mass of people at public rallies. Benjamin Kunkel, The New Republic, "The partisan world of Pablo Neruda," 2 July 2018 That’s often where gardens and community green spaces come into play, offering vital moments of sanity and solitude in an otherwise kinetic urban landscape. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Secret gardens: A global tour of hidden urban oases," 12 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'solitude.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of solitude

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for solitude

Middle English, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, from Latin solitudin-, solitudo, from solus

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about solitude

Statistics for solitude

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for solitude

The first known use of solitude was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for solitude



English Language Learners Definition of solitude

: a state or situation in which you are alone usually because you want to be


sol·i·tude | \ ˈsäl-ə-ˌtüd , -ˌtyüd \

Kids Definition of solitude

: the quality or state of being alone or away from others : seclusion

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on solitude

What made you want to look up solitude? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!