solicitation (n.) Look up solicitation at
late 15c., "management," from Middle French solicitation and directly from Latin solicitationem (nominative solicitatio) "vexation, disturbance, instigation," noun of action from past participle stem of solicitare (see solicit). Meaning "action of soliciting" is from 1520s. Specific sexual sense is from c. 1600.
solicitor (n.) Look up solicitor at
early 15c., "one who urges," from Middle French soliciteur, from soliciter (see solicit). Meaning "one who conducts matters on behalf of another" is from early 15c. As a name for a specific class of legal practitioners in Britain, it is attested from 1570s. Both the fem. forms, solicitress (1630s) and solicitrix (1610s), have been in the sexual sense, but the latter seems more common in non-pejorative use.
solicitous (adj.) Look up solicitous at
1560s, from Latin sollicitus "restless, uneasy, careful, full of anxiety" (see solicit). Related: Solicitously; solicitousness.
solicitude (n.) Look up solicitude at
early 15c., from Middle French solicitude (Modern French sollicitude), and directly from Latin sollicitudinem (nominative solicitudo) "anxiety, uneasiness of mind," noun of state from past participle stem of solicitare (see solicit).
solid (adj.) Look up solid at
late 14c., "not empty or hollow," from Old French solide "firm, dense, compact," from Latin solidus "firm, whole, undivided, entire," figuratively "sound, trustworthy, genuine," from PIE *sol-ido-, suffixed form of root *sol- "whole" (cognates: Greek holos "whole," Latin salus "health," salvus "safe;" see safe (adj.)).

Meaning "firm, hard, compact" is from 1530s. Meaning "entirely of the same stuff" is from 1710. Of qualities, "well-established, considerable" c. 1600. As a mere intensifier, 1830. Slang sense of "wonderful, remarkable" first attested 1920 among jazz musicians. As an adverb, "solidly, completely," 1650s. Solid South in U.S. political history is attested from 1858. Solid state as a term in physics is recorded from 1953; meaning "employing printed circuits and solid transistors" (as opposed to wires and vacuum tubes) is from 1959. Related: Solidly.
solid (n.) Look up solid at
late 14c., "three-dimensional figure," from solid (adj.). Meaning "a solid substance" is from 1690s. Compare also solidus; Latin solidus (adj.) was used as a noun meaning "an entire sum; a solid body."
solidarity (n.) Look up solidarity at
1829, from French solidarité "communion of interests and responsibilities, mutual responsibility," a coinage of the "Encyclopédie" (1765), from solidaire "interdependent, complete, entire," from solide (see solid (adj.)). With a capital S-, the name of an independent trade union movement in Poland, formed September 1980, from Polish Solidarność.
solidary (adj.) Look up solidary at
1818, from French solidaire (16c.), from solide (see solid (adj.)).
solidification (n.) Look up solidification at
1800; noun of action from solidify; perhaps from French solidification. Earlier was solidation (1540s).
solidify (v.) Look up solidify at
1799 (transitive); 1837 (intransitive), from French solidifier, from Old French solide (see solid (adj.)) + -fier (see -fy). Related: Solidified; solidifying.
solidity (n.) Look up solidity at
late 14c., from Middle French solidité or directly from Latin soliditatem (nominative soliditas), from solidus (see solid (adj.)).
solidly (adv.) Look up solidly at
1610s, "firmly, securely," from solid (adj.) + -ly (2). Meaning "unanimously" is from 1865, American English.
solidus (n.) Look up solidus at
late 14c., plural solidi, used of both English shilling and Roman gold coin, from Late Latin solidus, an imperial Roman coin (worth about 25 denarii), from nummus solidus, literally "solid coin," properly a coin of thick or solid metal, not of thin plate (see solid (adj.)).
solifidian (n.) Look up solifidian at
"one who believes in salvation by faith alone" (based on Luther's translation of Rom. iii:28), 1590s, Reformation coinage from Latin solus "alone" (see sole (adj.)) + fides "faith" (see faith). As an adjective from c. 1600. Related: Solifidianism
soliloquize (v.) Look up soliloquize at
1759, from soliloquy + -ize. Related: Soliloquized; soliloquizing.
soliloquy (n.) Look up soliloquy at
1610s, from Late Latin soliloquium "a talking to oneself," from Latin solus "alone" (see sole (adj.)) + loqui "speak" (see locution). Also used in translation of Latin "Liber Soliloquiorum," a treatise by Augustine, who is said to have coined the word, on analogy of Greek monologia (see monologue). Related: Soliloquent.
solipsism (n.) Look up solipsism at
1871, coined from Latin solus "alone" (see sole (adj.)) + ipse "self." The view or theory that self is the only object of real knowledge or the only thing that is real. "The identification of one's self with the Absolute is not generally intended, but the denial of there being really anybody else" [Century Dictionary].
solipsistic (adj.) Look up solipsistic at
1882, from solipsism + -istic. Related: Solipsist; solipsistically.
solitaire (n.) Look up solitaire at
c. 1500, "widow;" 1716, "solitary person, recluse," from French solitaire, from Latin adjective solitarius "alone, lonely, isolated" (see solitary). Sense of "a precious stone set by itself" is from 1727. Meaning "card game played by one person" is first attested 1746.
solitary (adj.) Look up solitary at
mid-14c., "alone, living alone," from Old French solitaire, from Latin solitarius "alone, lonely, isolated," from solitas "loneliness, solitude," from solus "alone" (see sole (adj.)). Meaning "single, sole, only" is from 1742. Related: Solitarily; solitariness. As a noun from late 14c.; from 1854 as short for solitary confinement (that phrase recorded from 1690s).
solitude (n.) Look up solitude at
mid-14c., from Old French solitude "loneliness" (14c.) and directly from Latin solitudinem (nominative solitudo) "loneliness, a being alone; lonely place, desert, wilderness," from solus "alone" (see 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; ... if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free. [Schopenhauer, "The World as Will and Idea," 1818]
Solitudinarian "recluse, unsocial person" is recorded from 1690s.
solmization (n.) Look up solmization at
"act of using certain syllables to name tones of a music scale," 1730, from French solmisation, from solmiser, from sol + mi, two of the syllables so used (see gamut).
solo (n.) Look up solo at
1690s, "piece of music for one voice or instrument," from Italian solo, literally "alone," from Latin solus "alone" (see sole (adj.)). As an adjective in English from 1712, originally in the non-musical sense of "alone, unassisted;" in reference to aircraft flying from 1909. The verb is first attested 1858 in the musical sense, 1886 in a non-musical sense. Related: Soloed; soloing.
soloist (n.) Look up soloist at
1839, from solo (n.) + -ist.
Solomon Look up Solomon at
masc. proper name, Biblical name of David's son, king of Judah and Israel and wisest of all men, from Greek Solomon, from Hebrew Sh'lomoh, from shelomo "peaceful," from shalom "peace." The Arabic form is Suleiman. The common medieval form was Salomon (Vulgate, Tyndale, Douai); Solomon was used in Geneva Bible and KJV. Used allusively for "a wise ruler" since 1550s. Related: Solomonic; Solomonian. The Solomon Islands were so named 1568 by Spanish explorers in hopeful expectation of having found the source of the gold brought to King Solomon in I Kings ix:29.
solon (n.) Look up solon at
"legislator," 1620s, from Greek Solon, name of early lawgiver of Athens, one of the seven sages. Often, especially in U.S., applied (with perhaps a whiff of sarcasm) by journalists to Congressmen, township supervisors, etc. It also is a useful short headline word.
solstice (n.) Look up solstice at
mid-13c., from Old French solstice (13c.), from Latin solstitium "point at which the sun seems to stand still," especially the summer solstice, from sol "sun" (see sol) + past participle stem of sistere "to come to a stop, make stand still" (see assist (v.)). In early use, Englished as sunstead (late Old English sunstede).
solstitial (adj.) Look up solstitial at
1550s, from Latin solstitialis, from solstitium (see solstice).
solubility (n.) Look up solubility at
1670s, from soluble + -ity.
soluble (adj.) Look up soluble at
late 14c., "capable of being dissolved," from Old French soluble "expungable, eradicable" (13c.), from Late Latin solubilis "that may be loosened or dissolved," from stem of Latin solvere "loosen, dissolve" (see solve). Meaning "capable of being solved" is attested from 1705. Substances are soluble, not solvable; problems can be either.
solum (n.) Look up solum at
Latin, "ground, soil," of unknown origin.
solus (adj.) Look up solus at
Latin, "alone" (see sole (adj.)), used in stage directions by 1590s. Masculine; the fem. is sola, but in stage directions solus typically serves for both. Also in phrases solus cum sola "alone with an unchaperoned woman" and solus cum solo "all on one's own," both literally meaning "alone with alone."
solute (adj.) Look up solute at
1890, "dissolved," from Latin solutus, past participle of solvere (see solve). In botany, "free, not adhering" (1760).
solution (n.) Look up solution at
late 14c., "a solving or being solved," from Old French solucion "division, dissolving; explanation; payment" or directly from Latin solutionem (nominative solutio) "a loosening or unfastening," noun of action from past participle stem of solvere "to loosen, untie, solve, dissolve" (see solve). Meaning "liquid containing a dissolved substance" is first recorded 1590s.
solvable (adj.) Look up solvable at
1640s, from solve + -able.
solvation (n.) Look up solvation at
1909, noun of action from solvate, a verb used in chemistry, from solvent + -ate (2).
solve (v.) Look up solve at
late 14c., "to disperse, dissipate, loosen," from Latin solvere "to loosen, dissolve; untie, release, detach; depart; unlock; scatter; dismiss; accomplish, fulfill; explain; remove," from PIE *se-lu-, from reflexive pronoun *s(w)e- (see idiom) + root *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart" (see lose). The meaning "explain, answer" is attested from 1530s; for sense evolution, see solution. Mathematical use is attested from 1737. Related: Solved; solving.
solvency (n.) Look up solvency at
1727, from solvent + -cy.
solvent (adj.) Look up solvent at
1650s, "able to pay all one owes," from French solvent, from Latin solventem (nominative solvens), present participle of solvere "loosen, dissolve" (see solve).
solvent (n.) Look up solvent at
"substance able to dissolve other substances," 1670s, from Latin solventem (see solvent (n.)).
solvitur ambulando Look up solvitur ambulando at
an appeal to practical experience for a solution or proof, Latin, literally "(the problem) is solved by walking," originally in reference to the proof by Diogenes the Cynic of the possibility of motion.
soma (n.) Look up soma at
name of an intoxicant used in ancient Vedic ritual, prepared from the juice of some East Indian plant, 1785, from Sanskrit soma, from PIE *seu- "juice," from root *seue- (2) "to take liquid" (see sup (v.2)). In "Brave New World" (1932), the name of a state-dispensed narcotic producing euphoria and hallucination.
Somalia Look up Somalia at
country named for the indigenous Somali people, whose name (attested in English by 1814) is of unknown origin.
somatic (adj.) Look up somatic at
"pertaining to the body" (as distinct from the soul, spirit, or mind), 1775, from French somatique and directly from Greek somatikos "of the body," from soma (genitive somatos) "the body" (see somato-).
somatization (n.) Look up somatization at
1909 in biology (Rignano); 1920 in psychology; from somato- "body" + -ization.
somato- Look up somato- at
before vowels somat-, word-forming element meaning "the body of an organism," from comb. form of Greek soma (genitive somatos) "the body, a human body dead or living, body as opposed to spirit; material substance; mass; a person, human being; the whole body or mass of anything," of uncertain origin.
somatosensory (adj.) Look up somatosensory at
1952, from somato- "body" + sensory.
somber (adj.) Look up somber at
1760 "gloomy, shadowy" (earlier sombrous, c. 1730), from French sombre "dark, gloomy," from Old French sombre (14c.), from an adjective from Late Latin subumbrare "to shadow," from sub "under" (see sub-) + umbra "shade, shadow," perhaps from a suffixed form of PIE *andho- "blind, dark" (see umbrage). Related: Somberly; somberness.
sombre (adj.) Look up sombre at
chiefly British English spelling of somber (q.v.); for spelling, see -re.
sombrero (n.) Look up sombrero at
1770, from Spanish sombrero "broad-brimmed hat," originally "umbrella, parasol" (a sense found in English 1590s), from sombra "shade," from Late Latin subumbrare (see somber).