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From Middle English solicitude, from Old French sollicitude, from Latin sollicitūdō (anxiety), from sollicitus, solicitus (anxious, solicitous). See solicitous.


  • IPA(key): /səˈlɪsɪˌt(j)uːd/
  • Hyphenation: so‧lic‧i‧tude


solicitude (usually uncountable, plural solicitudes)

  1. The state of being solicitous; uneasiness of mind occasioned by fear of evil or desire for good; anxiety.
    • 1848, Edwin Percy Whipple, “Sydney Smith”, in Essays and Reviews, volume I, New-York: D. Appleton & Company, page 135:
      The familiarity of Sydney Smith’s manner does not consist merely in his style ; indeed, the terseness and brilliancy of his diction, though not at all artificial in appearance, could not have been attained without labor and solicitude ;—but it is the result of the blunt, fearless, severe, yet good-humored, nature of the man.
  2. Special or pronounced concern or attention.
    • 1387, Ranulf Higden, anonymous translator, Polychronicon, translation of original in Medieval Latin, lib. I, page 5:
      Also the triuialle of the vertues theologicalle and quadriuialle of the cardinalle vertues, to comprehende the knowlege of whom oure insufficience sufficethe not, withowte the sollicitude of writers scholde transfude to vs the memory of thynges of antiquite.
    • 1810, Cobbett's Political Register - Volume 17, page 379:
      Will any fair man say that I do not in this paragraph inculcate the duty of love and reverence for his Majesty, by stating, not merely my own ideas of his royal virtues, of his wisdom, and paternal solicitude for the happiness of his people, but the opinion and feeling of the illustrious personage, the highest subject in his empire -- the most interested next to himself in its welfare -- and whose example of reverence and devotion was so well calculated to inspire confidence and attachment in every class of the community?
    • 1995, John Kultgen, Autonomy and Intervention: Parentalism in the Caring Life, →ISBN, page 30:
      For there to be genuine community among any sizable group of people, solicitude must be a routine feature of daily intercourse.
    • 2015, Edward L. Rubin, Soul, Self, and Society: The New Morality and the Modern State, →ISBN:
      The increasing solicitude for human life that characterizes administrative government is limited to people who are perceived as members or citizens of the polity, for reasons that will be discussed at length in Chapter 6.
  3. A cause of anxiety or concern.
    • 1844, Charles Dickens, chapter XXXII, in Martin Chuzzlewit, London: Chapman and Hall, page 380:
      M. Todgers looked a little worn by cares of gravy and other such solicitudes arising out of her establishment, but displayed her usual earnestness and warmth of manner.

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