Definition of solitaire in English:


Line breaks: soli|taire
Pronunciation: /ˈsɒlɪtɛː
, ˌsɒlɪˈtɛː


1 [mass noun] British A game for one player played by removing pegs one at a time from a board by jumping others over them from adjacent holes, the object being to be left with only one peg.
More example sentences
  • Solitaire is a board game for one player involving movement of pegs on a board with holes.
1.1North American The card game patience.
More example sentences
  • Indeed, the game is sometimes called patience sorting, where patience is the British term for solitaire.
  • I've sat here for twenty minutes, played seven games of solitaire, and try as I may I can't pull anything out of the day.
  • Perfect for making sure that you save power when you nod off after a demanding midnight game of solitaire.
2A diamond or other gem set in a piece of jewellery by itself: [with modifier]: a diamond solitaire [as modifier]: a solitaire ring
More example sentences
  • A typical King press conference finds the tuxedo-clad promoter clutching an American flag in a hand graced by a nine-carat solitaire set in a white gold ring.
  • The black-enameled hinged balls shown in Plate XII were used to cover the diamond solitaire earrings also shown.
  • I took the rings to a jeweler, sold the gold, and had the solitaire diamond set into a pendant, which I then gave to my daughter for her 18th birthday.
2.1A ring set with a solitaire diamond or other gem.
More example sentences
  • Later it is explained to you that simple designs are more the persons style so you return the ‘gaudy’ ring for the simple solitaire.
  • ‘Being the baby of the family, I certainly didn't think I would be getting a large solitaire of my dreams, and I didn't,’ she says.
  • There won't be room to get on one knee, and you risk dropping the solitaire into the depths, but if it goes well, you'll have the world's best answer to the question ‘So where did you get engaged?’
3Either of two large extinct flightless birds related to the dodo, found on two of the Mascarene Islands until they were exterminated in the 18th century.
  • Family Raphidae: the Rodriguez solitaire (Pezophaps solitaria), and the poorly known Réunion solitaire (Ornithaptera solitaria)
More example sentences
  • The DNA evidence does indicate that the dodo and the solitaire separated from a common ancestor about 25.6 million years ago.
  • It was a handsome, solitary bird, and was therefore known as the solitaire, while a similar bird on Mauritius was called the dodo.
  • He has unfolded for her what could have been simply a lecture on the solitaires, a narrative that gradually becomes a tale, a reverie, a meditation on the birds.
4A large American thrush with mainly grey plumage and a short bill.
  • Genus Myadestes, family Turdidae: several species
More example sentences
  • Everything was bone dry, and the cedar breaks below the escarpment held not a single robin, waxwing, solitaire, or bluebird.
  • The few birds that stay in Washington are found east of the Cascades, where they sometimes join groups of robins and solitaires.
  • Trails lead into the juniper-filled canyon where Townsend's solitaires sing.


early 18th century: from French, from Latin solitarius (see solitary).

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