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solitude

[sol-i-tood, -tyood]
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noun
  1. the state of being or living alone; seclusion: to enjoy one's solitude.
  2. remoteness from habitations, as of a place; absence of human activity: the solitude of the mountains.
  3. a lonely, unfrequented place: a solitude in the mountains.

Origin of solitude

1325–75; Middle English < Middle French < Latin sōlitūdō. See soli-1, -tude
Related formssol·i·tu·di·nous [sol-i-tood-n-uh s, -tyood-] /ˌsɒl ɪˈtud n əs, -ˈtyud-/, adjective

Synonyms

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1. retirement, privacy. Solitude, isolation refer to a state of being or living alone. Solitude emphasizes the quality of being or feeling lonely and deserted: to live in solitude. Isolation may mean merely a detachment and separation from others: to be put in isolation with an infectious disease. 2. loneliness. 3. desert, wilderness.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for solitude

solitude

noun
  1. the state of being solitary or secluded
  2. poetic a solitary place
Derived Formssolitudinous, adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Latin sōlitūdō, from sōlus alone, sole 1
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

Word Origin and History for solitude

n.

mid-14c., from Old French solitude "loneliness" (14c.) and directly from Latin solitudinem (nominative solitudo) "loneliness, a being alone; lonely place, desert, wilderness," from solus "alone" (see sole (adj.)). "Not in common use in English until the 17th c." [OED]

A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; ... if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free. [Schopenhauer, "The World as Will and Idea," 1818]

Solitudinarian "recluse, unsocial person" is recorded from 1690s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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