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[sol-i-tair] /ˈsɒl ɪˌtɛər/
Also called patience. any of various games played by one person with one or more regular 52-card packs, part or all of which are usually dealt out according to a given pattern, the object being to arrange the cards in a predetermined manner.
a game played by one person alone, as a game played with marbles or pegs on a board having hollows or holes.
a precious stone, especially a diamond, set by itself, as in a ring.
any of several American thrushes of the genus Myadestes, having short, broad bills and noted for their beautiful songs.
a large extinct flightless bird of the genus Pezophaps, related to the dodo but with a longer neck, smaller bill, and longer legs, that inhabited the Mascarene Islands.
Origin of solitaire
1350-1400; Middle English < French < Latin sōlitārius solitary Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for solitaire
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He does not seem able to make the solitaire come out, so he becomes impatient and gathers up the cards.

    Plays--First Series August Strindberg
  • She played the game alone with a little assistance from Emma—a game of solitaire.

    Hester's Counterpart Jean K. Baird
  • He was working a game of solitaire when they bore down on him, and interested them at once.

    The Nerve of Foley Frank H. Spearman
  • So I take it there's been something doin' in the solitaire and wilt-thou line.

    Torchy, Private Sec. Sewell Ford
  • Mrs. Lathrop continued to finger her solitaire earrings in happy silence.

  • Of all the birds on the Rockies, the one most marvelously eloquent is the solitaire.

    Wild Life on the Rockies Enos A. Mills
  • It is a game of chess, and not of solitaire, nor even of checkers.

    Over the Teacups Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • In the solitaire's song one feels all the freshness and the promise of spring.

    Wild Life on the Rockies Enos A. Mills
  • He was fashionably, even elegantly dressed, and on his left hand he wore a solitaire of uncommon size and luster.

    The Mask Arthur Hornblow
British Dictionary definitions for solitaire


/ˈsɒlɪˌtɛə; ˌsɒlɪˈtɛə/
Also called pegboard. a game played by one person, esp one involving moving and taking pegs in a pegboard or marbles on an indented circular board with the object of being left with only one
the US name for patience (sense 3)
a gem, esp a diamond, set alone in a ring
any of several extinct birds of the genus Pezophaps, related to the dodo
any of several dull grey North American songbirds of the genus Myadestes: subfamily Turdinae (thrushes)
Word Origin
C18: from Old French: solitary
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for solitaire

c.1500, "widow;" 1716, "solitary person, recluse," from French solitaire, from Latin adjective solitarius "alone, lonely, isolated" (see solitary). Sense of "a precious stone set by itself" is from 1727. Meaning "card game played by one person" is first attested 1746.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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