[ sol-ip-siz-uh m ]
/ ˈsɒl ɪpˌsɪz əm /


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.

Nearby words

  1. solimões,
  2. soling,
  3. solingen,
  4. solion,
  5. soliped,
  6. solipsistic,
  7. solitaire,
  8. solitary,
  9. solitary bee,
  10. solitary bone cyst

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

British Dictionary definitions for solipsism


/ (ˈsɒlɪpˌsɪzəm) /


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

Culture definitions for solipsism


[ (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.