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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. A feeling of excessive concern.
  3. (obsolete) (Can we verify(+) this sense?) Diligence motivated by such a feeling.
    • 1387, Polychronicon, translation of original by Ranulf Higden, 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.
  4. 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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