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From Latin sōlicitus, sollicitus (thoroughly disturbed, anxious), from sollus (whole, entire) + cieō (move, disturb). Surface analysis solicit +‎ -ous.


  • IPA(key): /səˈlɪsɪtəs/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: so‧lic‧i‧tous


solicitous (comparative more solicitous, superlative most solicitous)

  1. Disposed to solicit; eager to obtain something desirable, or to avoid anything evil.
    • 1646–48, Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, The History of the Rebellion, volume III, Oxford: Ro. Mander, published 1707, book I, page 82:
      To that end, the then Biſhop of London, Dr Laud, attended on his Majeſty throughout that whole journey [] to accompliſh which he was no leſs ſollicitous than the King himſelf, nor the King the leſs ſollicitous for his Advice.
    • 1929, Kirby Page, Jesus Or Christianity: A Study In Contrasts, Oxford: Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., page 32:
      Where pain is most severe and sorrow most bitter, there love is most solicitous and untiring.
  2. (Usually followed by about, for, etc., or a clause) Showing care, concern, or attention, in any of several ways; thus:
    1. In a conscientious way, often with kindness.
      solicitous about a person's health
      solicitous inquiries, asking after her husband and children
      • 1666 November 10, John Dryden, “Annus Mirabilis: The Year of Wonders”, in The Poetical Works of John Dryden, volume I, London: F. C. and J. Rivington et al., published 1811, page 78:
        You have not only been careful of my fortune, which was the effect of your nobleneſs, but you have been ſolicitous of my reputation, which is that of your kindneſs.
      • 1961 November 10, Joseph Heller, “The Soldier in White”, in Catch-22 [], New York, N.Y.: Simon and Schuster, →OCLC, page 171:
        The more solicitous of the two was Nurse Cramer, a shapely, pretty, sexless girl with a wholesome unattractive face.
    2. In an eager way.
    3. In an anxious or distressed way.
      • 1650, Jeremy Taylor, “Of Christian Society”, in The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living, 19th edition, London: J. Hepinstall, published 1703, section VI, page 114:
        Enjoy the preſent whatſoever it be, and be not ſollicitous for the future : for if you take your foot from the preſent ſtanding, and thruſt it forward toward to morrow’s even, you are in a reſtleſs condition, it is like refuſing to quench your preſent thirſt by fearing you ſhall want to drink the next day.

Derived terms[edit]