so·​lic·​i·​tude sə-ˈli-sə-ˌtüd How to pronounce solicitude (audio)
: the state of being concerned and anxious
: attentive care and protectiveness
also : an attitude of earnest concern or attention
expressed solicitude for his health
: a cause of care or concern
usually used in plural
Choose the Right Synonym for solicitude

care, concern, solicitude, anxiety, worry mean a troubled or engrossed state of mind or the thing that causes this.

care implies oppression of the mind weighed down by responsibility or disquieted by apprehension.

a face worn by years of care

concern implies a troubled state of mind because of personal interest, relation, or affection.

crimes caused concern in the neighborhood

solicitude implies great concern and connotes either thoughtful or hovering attentiveness toward another.

acted with typical maternal solicitude

anxiety stresses anguished uncertainty or fear of misfortune or failure.

plagued by anxiety and self-doubt

worry suggests fretting over matters that may or may not be real cause for anxiety.

financial worries

Example Sentences

He expressed solicitude for my health. a growing solicitude over the possible results of the criminal investigation
Recent Examples on the Web Progressive politicians are doing the opposite, blighting the lives of the law-abiding with their warped solicitude for the criminal few. William P. Barr, WSJ, 26 Oct. 2022 In this story of middle-age reckoning and teenage awakening, there are plenty of moments of selfishness dressed up as solicitude. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 June 2022 But this international wave of solicitude seems different in important ways, not least because of its context. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, 25 Mar. 2022 That’s especially so in light of the solicitude the regents recently showed to their cadre of half-million-dollar campus chancellors, supposedly doing so poorly in relation to their public university peers. Michael Hiltzikbusiness Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 21 Mar. 2022 Even the special solicitude accorded former presidents does not alter the outcome. Charlie Savage, New York Times, 14 Dec. 2021 Hence the newfound hostility of conservative jurists to Chevron may be seen not as a break from the 1980s, but a continuation of solicitude by conservative jurists for Republican political authority. WSJ, 13 Dec. 2021 Nor has Texas shown much solicitude for the businesses that provide capital to help its economy grow. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 5 Nov. 2021 Not to lord victory over others, but to show solicitude and modesty in triumph. Greg Jackson, Harper's Magazine, 25 May 2021 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of solicitude was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near solicitude

Cite this Entry

“Solicitude.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



so·​lic·​i·​tude sə-ˈlis-ə-ˌt(y)üd How to pronounce solicitude (audio)
: the state of being solicitous : anxiety
: too much care or attention

More from Merriam-Webster on solicitude

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.