Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Philosophy The theory that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified.
  • noun The view that the self is the only reality.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The belief or proposition that the person entertaining it alone exists, and that other people exist only as ideas in his mind.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Ethics) Egotism.
  • noun (Metaph.) Egoism.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun philosophy The theory that the self is all that exists or that can be proven to exist.
  • noun Self-absorption, an unawareness of the views or needs of others.

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

  • noun (philosophy) the philosophical theory that the self is all that you know to exist

Etymologies

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

[Latin sōlus, alone; see s(w)e- in Indo-European roots + Latin ipse, self + –ism.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin solus ("alone") + ipse ("self") + -ism.

Support

Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word solipsism.

Examples

  • It's like insisting that solipsism is a valid philosophy.

    Bukiet on Brooklyn Books

  • No, solipsism is only a valid philosophy if you hold to some implicit individualism, some sort of philosophical anarchism.

    Bukiet on Brooklyn Books

  • But that kind of childish solipsism is part of what makes America so gosh-darn unique!

    Matthew Yglesias » Obama’s Car Invention Myth

  • I liked Cowl insofar I like 2 way time travel SF (my least favorite subgenre because it falls so easily in solipsism - boom, the hero moved through time and a new universe appeared/dissapeared), but N. Asher has so many better books, Cowl is the weakest by far.

    Pick JP's Bookshelf!

  • A beautiful counterpoint to his fantastic solipsism is the appalling verbosity of his manservant, Mash Qasem.

    The Persian Version

  • A beautiful counterpoint to his fantastic solipsism is the appalling verbosity of his manservant, Mash Qasem.

    The Persian Version

  • The definition of solipsism that you cite brings the red herring of a notion of “the self”; more in harmony with the traditional use of that word in the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy ’s definition.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • The definition of solipsism that you cite brings the red herring of a notion of “the self”; more in harmony with the traditional use of that word in the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy ’s definition.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • The definition of solipsism that you cite brings the red herring of a notion of “the self”; more in harmony with the traditional use of that word in the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy ’s definition.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • The definition of solipsism that you cite brings the red herring of a notion of “the self”; more in harmony with the traditional use of that word in the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy ’s definition.

    No Uncertain Terms

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • It's alright that you own it, as you are simply an aspect of me.

    December 2, 2006

  • "I" made up this word.

    January 23, 2007

  • How creative is this far-removed figment of my imagination! I wish I had such command of my conscious mind!

    January 25, 2007

  • Did you mean far-removed fig newton of your imagination?

    August 9, 2007

  • A cookie is just a cookie, but a Newton is the illusion of fruit and cake that my brain tells me is real!

    Nice joke, by the way. I have special appreciation for it, seeing as how it was really me who made it up, and I am always funny.

    August 9, 2007

  • I can't think about this right now. And anyway, it doesn't exist. Only I do.

    August 9, 2007

  • You can't think about it right now because I have a one-track mind, and my attention is elsewhere. Sorry.

    August 9, 2007

  • I'm not even going to ask.

    August 9, 2007

  • Of course you're not, because I don't want you to.

    August 9, 2007

  • Neither do I. And that's what counts.

    If we don't be careful, we'll disappear into myself, and then where will I be? Not that you care.

    August 9, 2007

  • Well, he should care--if you are a part of him, he would be diminished by your absence. Says Judge Slumry. So there.

    August 9, 2007

  • When the voices in my head go away, I will finally have peace. ;-)

    August 9, 2007

  • Are you sure? It may be very lonely!

    August 9, 2007

  • Okay, don't go away. Just stop disagreeing with the other 6.whatever billion voices. It's the discord that makes it frustrating!

    August 9, 2007

  • Well, if you're going away, maybe the voices will stay put and leave you alone for a while.

    Or me. I can't remember anymore.

    August 9, 2007

  • Nah, the voices stay. Some just become louder while others quiet down. At least I can only hear a few at a time!

    August 9, 2007

  • Really? Mine sing, in a chorus--sort of in a strophe/antistrophe way.

    August 9, 2007

  • Okay, I am getting separation anxiety now. I will miss you two voices in my head next week. (Dear S calls all of you my imaginary friends). U, give your regards to Granny Smith. R, do you to care to give us any hint of your vacation plans?

    August 9, 2007

  • Oh...Canada! ;-> Specifically, the Atlantic provinces.

    August 9, 2007

  • *Green with envy*

    August 9, 2007

  • All I can say is, I'm surprised and impressed that you remembered and linked next week's trip with the Granny Smith trip I mentioned a while back. I'm terrible at making connections like that. Or rather, the conscious part of me is... but apparently the subconscious part of me excels at it. ;-)

    August 9, 2007

  • And here *I* thought you'd already seen Granny Smith and was wondering why you were off on another vacation so soon. :-)

    Oh, and slumry? Dear S is right--we are your imaginary friends!

    August 9, 2007

  • It was a memorable conversation, U.

    And R--I feel sure you will fill your suitcase with plenty of Canadianisms!

    August 9, 2007

  • Eh, I might. ;-)

    August 9, 2007

  • Oh, Reesetee, you mean I really do have voices in my head, too? In that case, I also wonder why I can't get them all to agree with each other.

    I think I will opt to simply enjoy the illusion.

    August 10, 2007

  • Aren't imaginary friends great? I always wanted one as a child.

    R, you simply must say hi to Canada for me, and tell them that I'll bring the cookie recipie next time I'm up that way. ;)

    August 10, 2007

  • Ah yes, I had imaginary friends when I was a child--and they weren't even human. :-)

    Jennarenn, I have that cookie recipe, so I'll just bring it along myself. You're sure to get a thank you note from Canada when I return. And one from Granny Smith, no doubt. ;->

    August 10, 2007

  • "(imaginary comment)" :oP

    August 10, 2007

  • *turns quickly* What was that?

    August 10, 2007

  • Haha, I love spooking myself.

    August 10, 2007

  • I do have a good sense of humor, don't I?

    August 11, 2007

  • "Solipsism is perhaps the greatest potential failing of the professional historian, and in this instance there are two essays . . . which exhibit all the coherence of a madman in a telephone box, scoring rhetorical points off a listener who long ago had the sense to replace the handset."

    – Nicholas Vincent, "Do you know?" (Review of Huw Pryce and John Watts, eds., Power and Identity in the Middle Ages, OUP), TLS (Feb. 15, 2008).

    April 6, 2008

  • Question: Why is the solipsist unhappy?

    Answer: Because no one will accept his arguments as valid.

    March 17, 2009

  • Q: Why is the surrealist unhappy?

    A: Because purple grapefruit mackintosh.

    March 17, 2009

  • donuts frump kumquats withal desiderata incommunicado

    March 17, 2009

  • March-flies and garrulous pompadours! Pay no heed to the evil sionnachery of the herebelow! For he is but a ruthless manipulaterz manipulationism manipulletsoup manipulitzerpizzle exploiter of confectionery incontinence among glug-factory beasties destined for the (recycling symbol) eurobin! Arise and be liberated! The next bizarre videoramamanana shall be yours!

    March 17, 2009

  • Solipsism? Eh. It's all in your head.

    October 10, 2009

  • You probably think this song is about you.

    January 31, 2010

  • "I have taken to foraging alone after nightfall when the city quiets and becomes introspective. I walk as an intruder on its solipsistic dream. I came by darkness, I live by darkness. The savage brightness of the desert is like some legend I heard a long time ago. My exsistence grows nocturnal. My beliefs change. From Perdido Street Station by China Mieville.

    September 22, 2011

  • Solipsism = me, myself & I

    December 30, 2019