Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A gem, such as a diamond, that is set alone.
  • n. Games Any of a number of card games played by one person.
  • n. Any of several thrushes of the genus Myadestes, found in North and Central America and noted for their beautiful song.
  • n. Either of two large flightless birds (Raphus solitarius and Pezophaps solitaria) of the Mascarene Islands which together with the dodo make up the extinct family Raphidae. The solitaires were extinct by the end of the 18th century.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who lives alone; a recluse or hermit.
  • n. Any of various card games that can be played by one person.
  • n. A game for one person, played on a board with pegs or balls, in which the object is, beginning with all the places filled except one, to remove all but one of the pieces by "jumping", as in draughts.
  • n. An extinct bird related to dodo, Pezophaps solitaria, Rodrigues solitaire, that lived on the island of Rodrigues.
  • n. An extinct bird formerly believed to be related to the dodo, more precisely Réunion solitaire, Raphus solitarius, now preferably Réunion ibis, Threskiornis solitarius.
  • n. One of several American species of bird in the genus Myadestes in the thrush family.
  • n. A gem set on its own.
  • adj. living or being alone; solitary

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A person who lives in solitude; a recluse; a hermit.
  • n. A single diamond in a setting; also, sometimes, a precious stone of any kind set alone.
  • n. A game which one person can play alone; -- applied to many games of cards, etc.; also, to a game played on a board with pegs or balls, in which the object is, beginning with all the places filled except one, to remove all but one of the pieces by “jumping,” as in draughts.
  • n.
  • n. A large extinct bird (Pezophaps solitaria) which formerly inhabited the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigeuz. It was larger and taller than the wild turkey. Its wings were too small for flight. Called also solitary.
  • n. Any species of American thrushlike birds of the genus Myadestes. They are noted their sweet songs and retiring habits. Called also fly-catching thrush. A West Indian species (Myadestes sibilans) is called the invisible bird.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A person who lives in solitude; a recluse; a hermit; a solitary.
  • n. A precious stone, oftenest a diamond, set by itself, and not combined with other jewels.
  • n. A loose necktie of black silk, resembling a ribbon, sometimes secured to the bag of the wig behind, and in front either falling loosely or secured by a brooch or similar jewel: a fashion for men in the eighteenth century.
  • n. A game which one person can play alone. In particular and properly
  • n. In ornithology:
  • n. An extinct didine bird, Pezophaps solitarius. See Pezophaps.
  • n. A fly-catching thrush of Jamaica, Myiadestes armillatus, which leads a retired life in wooded mountainous resorts; hence, any bird of this genus.
  • n. The pensive thrush, Monticola or Petrocincla solitaria. See rock-thrush.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a card game played by one person
  • n. a gem (usually a diamond) in a setting by itself
  • n. a dull grey North American thrush noted for its beautiful song
  • n. extinct flightless bird related to the dodo

Etymologies

French, solitary, from Old French; see solitary.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Adoption of French solitaire and ultimately from Latin sōlitārius. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Once more I saw the evening star hanging like a solitaire from the pure front of the western firmament; and the after glow transfiguring and transforming, as by magic, the homely and rugged features of the scene into a fairy land lit with a light which never shines on other soils or seas.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • LULUs were later moved from prison to prison, sometimes each in solitaire and sometimes sharing cells but never, ever with other American prisoners known to have been captured in other than in Laos.

    Long, Stephen G.

  • After three full years in solitaire Fecteau was given reading material for the first time.

    Fecteau, Richard

  • "The Notting Hill Mystery," according to The London Review, was "a carefully prepared chaos, in which the reader, as in the game called solitaire, is compelled to pick out his own way to the elucidation of the proposed puzzle."

    NYT > Home Page

  • We are tempted to figure the author of "The Grave" as a morose and melancholy 'solitaire' -- musing amid midnight churchyards -- stumbling over bones -- and returning home to light his lamp, inserted in a gaping skull, and to write out his gloomy cogitations.

    The Poetical Works of Beattie, Blair, and Falconer With Lives, Critical Dissertations, and Explanatory Notes

  • And it used to be the great amusement of the sailors to look in through the pane of glass, when they stood at the wheel, and watch the proceedings in the cabin; especially when the steward was setting the table for dinner, or the captain was lounging over a decanter of wine on a little mahogany stand, or playing the game called solitaire, at cards, of an evening; for at times he was all alone with his dignity; though, as will ere long be shown, he generally had one pleasant companion, whose society he did not dislike.

    Redburn. His First Voyage

  • 'The LULL) s were housed in solitaire in the Bldg 0, together with the four 0-6 prisoners (each in solitaire).

    Long, Stephen G.

  • These cells were high priority for the NVN because they afforded them the opportunity to keep prisoners in solitaire.

    Long, Stephen G.

  • Following the crap game there is usually a season of devotion to a kind of solitaire which is played with shells on a circular board, scooped out into a series of little cup-like depressions.

    A Woman's Impression of the Philippines

  • Besotted Clive popped the question in February - and then promptly whisked his new fiancee to exclusive jewellers Aspreys, where he bought the gleaming solitaire, which is flanked by six diamonds.

    Mirror.co.uk - News

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