I'm looking for a single word, kind of like loneliness, but without the negative/saddening meaning for describing the act of being alone but preferring it, doing it by a conscious choice.

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    – MetaEd
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 18:09
  • Very similar: What is a word for someone who prefers to be lonely? (although that is about a name for the person, and this is about the name of the act itself)
    – herisson
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 18:56

7 Answers 7


The word you are looking for is reclusion. A person that makes this choice is a recluse.

EDIT: Reclusion can also mean forced solitary confinement. Seclusion also works. A synonym for recluse is hermit.

EDIT: Added links.

  • This answer is the right one but please provide some sources for your definition.
    – user180089
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 17:13

I'd say that is captured by solitude.

[MASS NOUN] The state or situation of being alone:
she savoured her few hours of freedom and solitude


  • This is the obvious choice.
    – TonyK
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 0:56
  • +1. When Superman chose to be alone, he went to the Fortress of Solitude. Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 23:54

How about hermit?

According to Merriam-Webster

hermit: a person who lives in a simple way apart from others especially for religious reasons

  • +1 Good suggestion. But I think it's mentioned earlier.
    – NVZ
    Commented Aug 28, 2016 at 14:17

You could also describe such a person as a loner, or even a "lone wolf."

a person who prefers not to associate with others.


More context should be given I think to your question. A temporary withdrawal can be a retreat, while a partial but enduring choice of reduced interactions could be an independent or self-sufficient attitude.


Not exactly single-words, but should work fine.

Alone timeM-W

noun Time spent by an individual or a couple apart from others.

"I need some alone time to think things over."
"We passed many buildings I wanted to explore later, but for now, I just wanted some alone time with Brad." — Derene Scheeler, Follow Your Heart, 2010

Me timeODO

mass noun, informal
Time spent relaxing on one’s own as opposed to working or doing things for others, seen as an opportunity to reduce stress or restore energy.

"schedule some me time when you get home."
"Juggling business, family fun and a little me time just got easier!"
"But what do rock stars do when they need to get away from the band and secure a little me time?"


Not exactly a "real" English word, but it's gaining popularity nonetheless.

MauerbauertraurigkeitThe Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

noun. The inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends who you really like—as if all your social tastebuds suddenly went numb, leaving you unable to distinguish cheap politeness from the taste of genuine affection, unable to recognize its rich and ambiguous flavors, its long and delicate maturation, or the simple fact that each tasting is double-blind.

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