adjective for·lorn \fər-ˈlrn, fr-\

: sad and lonely

: empty and in poor condition

: not having much chance of success : nearly hopeless

Full Definition of FORLORN

a :  bereft, forsaken <left quite forlorn of hope>
b :  sad and lonely because of isolation or desertion :  desolate <a forlorn landscape>
:  being in poor condition :  miserable, wretched <forlorn tumbledown buildings>
:  nearly hopeless <a forlorn attempt>
for·lorn·ly adverb
for·lorn·ness \-ˈlrn-nəs\ noun

Examples of FORLORN

  1. <she was forlorn when she found out the trip had been cancelled>
  2. <a forlorn wanderer far from home>
  3. Against the forlorn backdrop of the muddy terrain the media circus has left behind, the young mother is photographed for a fashion spread wearing a … white dress. —James Wolcott, Vanity Fair, September 1998

Origin of FORLORN

Middle English forloren, from Old English, past participle of forlēosan to lose, from for- + lēosan to lose — more at lose
First Known Use: before 12th century

Related to FORLORN

bad, blue, brokenhearted, cast down, crestfallen, dejected, depressed, despondent, disconsolate, doleful, down, downcast, downhearted, down in the mouth, droopy, sad, gloomy, glum, hangdog, heartbroken, heartsick, heartsore, heavyhearted, inconsolable, joyless, low, low-spirited, melancholic, melancholy, miserable, mournful, saddened, sorrowful, sorry, unhappy, woebegone, woeful, wretched
blissful, buoyant, buoyed, cheerful, cheery, chipper, delighted, glad, gladdened, gladsome, gleeful, happy, joyful, joyous, jubilant, sunny, upbeat

Synonym Discussion of FORLORN

alone, solitary, lonely, lonesome, lone, forlorn, desolate mean isolated from others. alone stresses the objective fact of being by oneself with slighter notion of emotional involvement than most of the remaining terms <everyone needs to be alone sometimes>. solitary may indicate isolation as a chosen course <glorying in the calm of her solitary life> but more often it suggests sadness and a sense of loss <left solitary by the death of his wife>. lonely adds to solitary a suggestion of longing for companionship <felt lonely and forsaken>. lonesome heightens the suggestion of sadness and poignancy <an only child often leads a lonesome life>. lone may replace lonely or lonesome but typically is as objective as alone <a lone robin pecking at the lawn>. forlorn stresses dejection, woe, and listlessness at separation from one held dear <a forlorn lost child>. desolate implies inconsolable grief at loss or bereavement <desolate after her brother's death>.
FORLORN Defined for Kids


adjective for·lorn \fər-ˈlrn\

Definition of FORLORN for Kids

:  sad from being left alone
for·lorn·ly adverb <The dog howled forlornly.>


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