1. A gem, such as a diamond, that is set alone.
2. Games Any of a number of card games played by one person, especially Klondike.
3. Any of several thrushes found in the Americas and noted for having a beautiful song.
4. 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 1700s.
5. 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 1700s.
[French, solitary, from Old French; see SOLITARY.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.