- alone; without companions; unattended: a solitary passer-by.
- living alone; avoiding the society of others: a solitary existence.
- by itself; alone: one solitary house.
- characterized by the absence of companions: a solitary journey.
- done without assistance or accompaniment; done in solitude: solitary chores.
- being the only one: a solitary exception.
- characterized by solitude, as a place; unfrequented, secluded, or lonely: a solitary cabin in the woods.
- Zoology. living habitually alone or in pairs, as certain wasps.Compare social(def 11).
- a person who lives alone or in solitude, or avoids the society of others.
- a person who lives in solitude from religious motives.
- solitary confinement.
Origin of solitary
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for solitary
They are impressive animals, solitary hunters blessed with incredible power and athleticism.This Tiger Has Some Serious Ups
Jack Holmes, The Daily Beast Video
January 2, 2015
Once transferred to Karaj Prison, he spent an additional 15 days in solitary confinement.
I was put in a solitary confinement completely cut off from the outside world without even enjoying basic prisoner rights.
I have been told that, if I continue with this protest, I will be placed in solitary confinement.An American Marine in Iran’s Prisons Goes on Hunger Strike
December 18, 2014
Livvix, 30, is now in solitary confinement in the maximum-security Ayalon prison in Ramla, a city near Tel Aviv.The Strange Case of the Christian Zionist Terrorist
December 14, 2014
In these solitary tours he was busy and happy, working and playing.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
Here he cooked and ate his meals, and here he spent his solitary evenings.Brave and Bold
Like a sentinel on that solitary plain it overwhelms me with a sense of mystery.Ballads of a Bohemian
Robert W. Service
When a man is bitten by a snake in a solitary place he is in God's hands.Green Mansions
W. H. Hudson
It was my bringing up, I fancy, which made me a solitary lad.In the Valley
- following or enjoying a life of solitudea solitary disposition
- experienced or performed alonea solitary walk
- (of a place) unfrequented
- (prenominal) single; solea solitary speck in the sky
- having few companions; lonely
- (of animals) not living in organized colonies or large groupssolitary bees; a solitary elephant Compare social (def. 7), gregarious (def. 2)
- (of flowers) growing singly
- a person who lives in seclusion; hermit; recluse
- informal short for solitary confinement
Word Origin and History for solitary
mid-14c., "alone, living alone," from Old French solitaire, from Latin solitarius "alone, lonely, isolated," from solitas "loneliness, solitude," from solus "alone" (see sole (adj.)). Meaning "single, sole, only" is from 1742. Related: Solitarily; solitariness. As a noun from late 14c.; from 1854 as short for solitary confinement (that phrase recorded from 1817).