[sol-ip-siz-uh m]


Philosophy. the theory that only the self exists, or can be proved to exist.
extreme preoccupation with and indulgence of one's feelings, desires, etc.; egoistic self-absorption.

Origin of solipsism

1880–85; sol(i)-1 + Latin ips(e) self + -ism
Related formssol·ip·sis·mal, adjectivesol·ip·sist, noun, adjectivesol·ip·sis·tic [sol-ip-sis-tik] /ˌsɒl ɪpˈsɪs tɪk/, adjective
Can be confusedsolecism solipsism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for solipsism

Contemporary Examples of solipsism

  • But in the age of the iPod, where solipsism has been made sophisticated, they are more right than anyone ever imagined.

    The Daily Beast logo
    This Week's Must-Read Journalism

    The Daily Beast

    April 1, 2011

  • Of course, when an entire throng is trying to rise above itself, an epidemic of free-form vulgarity and solipsism ensues.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Punking the White House

    Tunku Varadarajan

    November 27, 2009

Historical Examples of solipsism

  • The philosophic system becomes a solipsism, a pure lyric expression of the appetites of human nature.

    Creative Intelligence

    John Dewey, Addison W. Moore, Harold Chapman Brown, George H. Mead, Boyd H. Bode, Henry Waldgrave, Stuart James, Hayden Tufts, Horace M. Kallen

  • This theory is also called Subjective Idealism or Solipsism.

  • I realize now that I may have been falling into the trap of solipsism, “who watches the quad,” et cetera, type of thing.

    On Handling the Data

    M. I. Mayfield

  • Thus idealists are wedded to solipsism irrevocably; and it is a happy marriage, only the name of the lady has to be changed.

    Winds Of Doctrine

    George Santayana

British Dictionary definitions for solipsism



philosophy the extreme form of scepticism which denies the possibility of any knowledge other than of one's own existence
Derived Formssolipsist, noun, adjectivesolipsistic, adjective

Word Origin for solipsism

C19: from Latin sōlus alone + ipse self
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 solipsism

1871, coined from Latin solus "alone" (see sole (adj.)) + ipse "self." The view or theory that self is the only object of real knowledge or the only thing that is real. "The identification of one's self with the Absolute is not generally intended, but the denial of there being really anybody else" [Century Dictionary].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

solipsism in Culture


[(sol-uhp-siz-uhm, soh-luhp-siz-uhm)]

The belief that all reality is just one's own imagining of reality, and that one's self is the only thing that exists.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.