solitude

solitude, isolation, alienation, seclusion mean the state of one that is alone.
Solitude applies not only to a physical condition where there are no others of one's kind with whom one can associate
{this man [the lighthouse keeper] in his wild solitude, forced to live only with himself, almost forgets the common language of men— Ellis)but often to the state, physical or mental, of one who by wish or by compulsion is cut off from normal contacts (as with colleagues, neighbors, friends, or family)
{

my spirits will not bear solitude, I must have employment and society— Austen

}
{

these are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world— Emerson

}
Sometimes the term refers entirely to a mental state and comes very close in meaning to loneliness, implying a lack of intimate association with, rather than a separation from, others
{

had not been able to escape from the solitude imposed by existence in hotels. Since her marriage she had never spoken to a woman in . . . intimacy— Bennett

}
{

aye, solitude, black solitude indeed, to meet a million souls and know not one— W. H. Davies

}
Isolation stresses detachment from others either because of causes beyond one's control or because of one's own wish. Since the term may refer to communities and to things as well as to individuals, it often suggests a cutting off physically rather than such a frame of mind as loneliness or depression
{

the solemn isolation of a man against the sea and sky— Stevenson

}
{

axiomatic that the artist and man of letters ought not to work in cloistral isolation, removed from public affairs— Quiller-Couch

}
{

we are exposed to isolation imposed on us from the outside by unfriendly powers— Ascoli

}
{

many words and phrases have no significance in isolation but contribute to the significance only of whole sentences— Russell

}
Alienation stresses estrangement and lack or loss of adjustment either between the individual and his environment and especially his social or intellectual environment so that he is in fact isolated even when physically sur-rounded by multitudes of his kind
{

alienation . . . can mean estrangement from society or estrangement from self through society. The delinquent is estranged but so, too, is the organization manHarold Rosenberg

}
or sometimes between the creator and his creation
{

his alienation seems more fully acknowledged and extreme than ever before— Times Lit. Sup.

}
Seclusion implies a shutting away or a keeping apart of oneself or another so that one is either inaccessible to others or accessible only under difficult conditions. The term may connote a condition (as confinement in an asylum or prison or withdrawal from the world or from human companionship) that makes contact difficult or repels the efforts of others to establish contact
{

the seclusion of their life was such that she would hardly be likely to learn the news except through a special messenger— Hardy

}
{

the time would come when she could no longer live in seclusion, she must go into the world again— Stafford

}
{

even in the seclusion of the convent, Sister had heard the rumors— Ruth Park

}
{

it had a deep New England tendency to seclusion and secrecy— Time

}
Analogous words: retreat, refuge, asylum (see SHELTER n): retirement, withdrawal (see corresponding verbs at GO)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • solitude — [ sɔlityd ] n. f. • 1393; « état d un lieu désert » 1213; lat. solitudo 1 ♦ Situation d une personne qui est seule, de façon momentanée ou durable. ⇒ isolement. La solitude lui pèse. « La Solitude seule est la source des inspirations. La solitude …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • solitude — Solitude. s. f. Estat d un homme qui est seul, & retiré du commerce du monde. Il aime la solitude. il ne sçauroit souffrir la solitude. Il signifie aussi, Lieu esloigné du commerce, de la veuë, de la frequentation des hommes. Affreuse solitude.… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Solitude — Sol i*tude, n. [F., from L. solitudo, solus alone. See {Sole}, a.] 1. state of being alone, or withdrawn from society; a lonely life; loneliness. [1913 Webster] Whosoever is delighted with solitude is either a wild beast or a god. Bacon. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Solitude — is a state of seclusion or isolation, i.e. lack of contact with people or love. It may stem from bad relationships, deliberate choice, contagious disease, disfiguring features, repulsive personal habits, mental illness, or circumstances of… …   Wikipedia

  • solitude — late 14c., from O.Fr. solitude loneliness, from L. solitudinem (nom. solitudo) loneliness, from solus alone (see SOLE (Cf. sole) (adj.)). Not in common use in English until the 17th c. [OED] A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; ...… …   Etymology dictionary

  • solitude — [säl′ə to͞od΄, säl′ətyo͞od΄] n. [ME < MFr < L solitudo < solus, alone, SOLE2] 1. the state of being solitary, or alone; seclusion, isolation, or remoteness 2. a lonely or secluded place solitudinous [säl′əto͞od′ n əs, säl′ətyo͞od′ n əs]… …   English World dictionary

  • Solitude — (fr., spr. Solitühd), 1) Einsamkeit, Einöde; 2) württembergische Domäne u. Lustschloß bei Leonberg, s.d. 4) …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Solitüde — (franz., »Einsamkeit«), öfters Name von Lustschlössern. Besonders bekannt ist die S. bei Stuttgart. 500 m ü. M., 1763–67 von Herzog Karl erbaut und 1770–75 Sitz der durch Schiller berühmt gewordenen Karlsschule (s. d.). Dabei eine Wirtschaft mit… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Solitude — (frz., spr. tühd), Einsamkeit, häufig Name von Lustschlössern …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Solitude — (–tüd), frz., Einsamkeit; Name mehrer Luftschlösser z.B. bei Ludwigsburg, der erste Sitz der Karlsschule, gegenwärtig Sitz eines pietistischen Instituts …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.