sol·​i·​tude | \ ˈsä-lə-ˌtüd How to pronounce solitude (audio) , -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)

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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 After a year of working in solitude, many have come to expect more control over how, when and where their work gets done, and to have greater autonomy relative to their managers and organizations. Alexandra Samuel, WSJ, 12 June 2021 Heisenberg, in solitude and free of life’s usual distractions, set to work on the problem with the single-mindedness of youth and the determination of genius. John Banville, WSJ, 28 May 2021 And at an elevation of 8,510 feet, visitors are surrounded with quiet solitude and serene mountain vistas. Christopher Dawson, CNN, 9 May 2021 This newfound embrace of solitude and self-love is going to attract the right person at the right time, but don’t rush this chapter of your story. Meghan Rose, Glamour, 1 May 2021 While the lack of indoor congregation options upped the numbers, the park has always been a place for people to experience solitude and tranquility in nature, together. Willa Glickman, The New York Review of Books, 23 Apr. 2021 Quetico imprinted her with glorious experiences of sweat, solitude and awe of nature. Star Tribune, 19 Mar. 2021 And the suitcases and the unworn suit all feed into the theme of solitude and abandonment (though, spoiler alert, one element delightfully falls victim to an axe). Kate Mcgregor, ELLE Decor, 18 Mar. 2021 There are plenty of things this novel could be said to be about—politics in the age of Trump, social media in the age of Zuckerberg, the death of truth, the difference between solitude and isolation. Scott W. Stern, The New Republic, 11 Feb. 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for solitude

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for solitude

Last Updated

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Solitude.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce solitude (audio) , -ˌtyüd \

Kids Definition of solitude

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


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