sol·​i·​tude ˈsä-lə-ˌtüd How to pronounce solitude (audio)
: the quality or state of being alone or remote from society : seclusion
: a lonely place (such as a desert)
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 David Grafton Spencer finds refuge in the Church of Scientology and, of the four, seems the most comfortable in his solitude. Alex Kotlowitz, The Atlantic, 3 Apr. 2024 Moments of solitude provide us space to reflect, experiment, explore our creativity and be our most authentic selves. Mark Travers, Forbes, 30 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for solitude 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'solitude.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near solitude

Cite this Entry

“Solitude.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


sol·​i·​tude ˈsäl-ə-ˌt(y)üd How to pronounce solitude (audio)
: the quality or state of being alone or far-off from society : seclusion, loneliness
: a lonely place (as a desert)

Middle English solitude "the state of being alone," from early French solitude (same meaning), from Latin solitudin-, solitudo (same meaning), from solus "alone" — related to desolate, sole entry 4, solo

More from Merriam-Webster on solitude

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