noun, plural sol·i·tar·ies.

Origin of solitary

1300–50; Middle English < Latin sōlitārius alone, by itself, solitary, equivalent to sōlit(ās) solitude (sōl(us) sole1 + -itās -ity) + -ārius -ary
Related formssol·i·tar·i·ly, adverbsol·i·tar·i·ness, nounun·sol·i·tar·y, adjective

Synonyms for solitary

1. lone. 7. isolated, retired, sequestered, remote. 9, 10. hermit, recluse. 10. eremite. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for solitariness

Historical Examples of solitariness

  • On his table was the dust of solitariness; and with his finger he wrote in it "Forever."


    W. A. Fraser

  • Reardon had not been to call, but Jeff was too sick of solitariness to mind that.

    The Prisoner

    Alice Brown

  • One important limitation, however, belongs to this statement of solitariness.

    John Quincy Adams

    John. T. Morse

  • It is loneliness—it is solitariness itself——' and he shuddered.

    Robert Elsmere

    Mrs. Humphry Ward

  • Your opportunity, for the solitariness of two, will be limited.

    In Her Own Right

    John Reed Scott

British Dictionary definitions for solitariness



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

noun plural -taries

a person who lives in seclusion; hermit; recluse
informal short for solitary confinement
Derived Formssolitarily, adverbsolitariness, noun

Word Origin for solitary

C14: from Latin sōlitārius, from sōlus 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 solitariness



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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper