Definitions

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

  • n. The state or quality of being alone or remote from others.
  • n. A lonely or secluded place.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Aloneness; state of being alone or solitary, by oneself.
  • n. A lonely or deserted place.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. state of being alone, or withdrawn from society; a lonely life; loneliness.
  • n. Remoteness from society; destitution of company; seclusion; -- said of places.
  • n. solitary or lonely place; a desert or wilderness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state of being alone; a lonely life; loneliness.
  • n. Remoteness from society; lack or utter want of companionship: applied to place: as, the solitude of a wood or a valley.
  • n. A lonely, secluded, or unfrequented place; a desert.
  • n. Synonyms Solitude, Retirement, Seclusion, Loneliness, Lonesomeness. Solitude is the condition of being absolutely alone, whether or not one has been with others, or desires to escape from them: as, the solitude of the Sphinx. Retirement is comparative solitude, produced by retiring, voluntarily or otherwise, from contact which one has had with others. Seclusion is stronger than retirement, implying the shutting out of others from access: after the Restoration Milton for safety's sake kept himself in retirement; indeed, except to a few trusted friends, he was in complete seclusion. Loneliness expresses the uncomfortable feelings, the longing for society, of one who is alone. Lonesomeness may be a lighter kind of loneliness, especially a feeling less spiritual than physical, growing out of the animal instinct for society and the desire of protection, the consciousness of being alone: as, the lonesomeness of a walk through a cemetery at night. Lonesomeness, more often than loneliness, may express the impression made upon the observer.

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

  • n. a state of social isolation
  • n. a solitary place
  • n. the state or situation of being alone

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin sōlitūdō, from sōlus, alone; see s(w)e- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French solitude (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • Wanted: solitude-seeking sentry with a "shine" for sparkly shorelines. Some light housekeeping duties required.

    September 15, 2010

  • A person that likes solitude would be a great light house keeper!

    September 15, 2010

  • She was not accustomed to taste the joys of solitude except in company . . .
    -Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth

    July 26, 2009

  • "Solitude scares me. It makes me think about love, death, and war. I need distraction from anxious, black thoughts." -- Brigitte Bardot

    May 30, 2008