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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.
    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.

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