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

  • noun A gem, such as a diamond, that is set alone.
  • noun Games Any of a number of card games played by one person.
  • noun Any of several thrushes found in the Americas and noted for having a beautiful song.
  • noun A large flightless bird (Pezophaps solitaria) of the Mascarene Islands that was closely related to the dodo and became extinct by the end of the 18th century.
  • noun A large flightless bird (Threskiornis solitarius) of Réunion Island, once thought to be related to the dodo but now regarded as a type of ibis. It became extinct in the early 18th century.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A person who lives in solitude; a recluse; a hermit; a solitary.
  • noun A precious stone, oftenest a diamond, set by itself, and not combined with other jewels.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A game which one person can play alone. In particular and properly
  • noun In ornithology:
  • noun An extinct didine bird, Pezophaps solitarius. See Pezophaps.
  • noun A fly-catching thrush of Jamaica, Myiadestes armillatus, which leads a retired life in wooded mountainous resorts; hence, any bird of this genus.
  • noun The pensive thrush, Monticola or Petrocincla solitaria. See rock-thrush.

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

  • noun A person who lives in solitude; a recluse; a hermit.
  • noun A single diamond in a setting; also, sometimes, a precious stone of any kind set alone.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A person who lives alone; a recluse or hermit.
  • noun Any of various card games that can be played by one person.
  • noun 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.
  • noun An extinct bird related to dodo, Pezophaps solitaria, Rodrigues solitaire, that lived on the island of Rodrigues.
  • noun An extinct bird formerly believed to be related to the dodo, more precisely Réunion solitaire, Raphus solitarius, now preferably Réunion ibis, Threskiornis solitarius.
  • noun One of several American species of bird in the genus Myadestes in the thrush family.
  • noun A gem set on its own.
  • adjective living or being alone; solitary

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

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


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

[French, solitary, from Old French; see solitary.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Adoption of French solitaire and ultimately from Latin sōlitārius.


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


  • 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 2006

  • 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. 1977

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

    Fecteau, Richard 1952

  • "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 By PAUL COLLINS 2011

  • 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 George Gilfillan 1845

  • 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 Herman Melville 1855

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

    Long, Stephen G. 1977

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

    Long, Stephen G. 1977

  • 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 Mary Helen Fee

  • 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. - News 2009


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