If you're a lone wolf, a one-man band, a rugged individualist, or an island unto yourself, you prefer to be solitary — in other words, alone or single. The term can be used to describe a person, a place, or a thing.
Solitary comes to us from the Latin solus, which means alone. Note its similarity to words like solo and, for all you card players out there, solitaire. You can take a solitary walk, during which you don't utter a solitary word, but pause to admire a solitary green shoot peeping through the snow. Solitary is also common in the prison world: Inmates on Alcatraz who were deemed too dangerous to mingle with their fellows were put in solitary confinement cells.