Thesaurus

solitary

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of solitary

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 being the one or ones of a class with no other members
  • a solitary example of truth-stretching is hardly grounds for branding the man a congenital liar

Synonyms for solitary

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Near Antonyms for solitary

solitary

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of solitary (Entry 2 of 2)

a person who lives away from others
  • weary of European civilization, the painter Paul Gauguin famously abandoned France to become a solitary in the South Seas

Synonyms for solitary

Words Related to solitary

Near Antonyms for solitary

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Frequently Asked Questions About solitary

How is the word solitary distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of solitary are alone, desolate, forlorn, lonely, lonesome, and lone. While all these words mean "isolated from others," solitary may indicate isolation as a chosen course, but more often it suggests sadness and a sense of loss.

glorying in the calm of her solitary life

left solitary by the death of his wife

When can alone be used instead of solitary?

The meanings of alone and solitary largely overlap; however, alone stresses the objective fact of being by oneself with slighter notion of emotional involvement than most of the remaining terms.

everyone needs to be alone sometimes

In what contexts can desolate take the place of solitary?

The words desolate and solitary can be used in similar contexts, but desolate implies inconsolable grief at loss or bereavement.

desolate after her brother's death

When is it sensible to use forlorn instead of solitary?

Although the words forlorn and solitary have much in common, forlorn stresses dejection, woe, and listlessness at separation from one held dear.

a forlorn lost child

How does the word lone relate to other synonyms for solitary?

Lone may replace lonely or lonesome but typically is as objective as alone.

a lone robin pecking at the lawn

How do lonely and solitary relate to one another?

Lonely adds to solitary a suggestion of longing for companionship.

felt lonely and forsaken

When is lonesome a more appropriate choice than solitary?

The synonyms lonesome and solitary are sometimes interchangeable, but lonesome heightens the suggestion of sadness and poignancy.

an only child often leads a lonesome life

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Time Traveler for solitary

Time Traveler

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

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Thesaurus Entries Near solitary

solitariness

solitary

solitude

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Cite this Entry

“Solitary.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/solitary. Accessed 19 Oct. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on solitary

Nglish: Translation of solitary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of solitary for Arabic Speakers

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