Etymology: Middle English, solitarie, from Anglo-French, from Latin solitarius, from solitas aloneness, from solus alone
Date: 14th century
a. being, living, or going alone or without companions
b. saddened by isolation
2. unfrequented, desolate <a solitary seashore> 3. a. taken, passed, or performed without companions <a solitary ramble> b. keeping a prisoner apart from others <solitary confinement> 4. being at once single and isolated <a solitary example> 5. a. occurring singly and not as part of a group or cluster <flowers terminal and solitary> b. not gregarious, colonial, social, or compound <solitary bees> Synonyms: see alone • solitarily adverb • solitariness noun II. noun (plural -taries) Date: 15th century 1. one who lives or seeks to live a solitary life ; recluse 2. solitary confinement in prison <put him in solitary>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.