1 of 2


: separated from others : isolated
was alone in the office
: exclusive of anyone or anything else : only
She alone knows what happened.
: considered without reference to any other
The children alone would eat that much.
: incomparable, unique
They are alone among their contemporaries in this respect.
aloneness noun


2 of 2


: solely, exclusively
The blame is mine alone.
: without aid or support
He said he could do it alone.
Choose the Right Synonym for alone

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

Examples of alone in a Sentence

Adjective This wine goes well with food, but is also very good alone. I got him alone and asked him what had really happened. She lived alone for many years. She doesn't mind being alone because she never feels lonely. He was alone with his thoughts. He felt very alone when he went away to school. Adverb The police believe the criminal acted alone. The price alone is enough to discourage people. The special effects alone make the movie worth seeing. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
The woman’s body was transported to the morgue at about 4:35 a.m. on Oct. 22, and Bird was left alone with the body. Greg Wehner, Fox News, 1 Dec. 2023 Loyal is not alone in looking for ways to extend the life of man's best friend. Kate Gibson, CBS News, 29 Nov. 2023 This cannot be done nowadays in free markets, but an alternative is leaving rates alone and buying government bonds via unorthodox monetary policy, thereby reducing government funding costs. Iese Business School, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 Her father was killed in 2019, leaving her alone to take care of her grandmother. Jason Motlagh, Rolling Stone, 26 Nov. 2023 Electrify a boring rainy day or weekend alone time with this single-person game that comes with 60 challenges of varying levels, all with the goal of arranging the tokens to create a real circuit that lights up the different colored beacons. Cheryl Fenton, Parents, 22 Nov. 2023 Investigators said there’s no indication that the resident, who was home alone at the time of the shooting, knew Stewart. Lyndsay Winkley, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Nov. 2023 When the trio arrived at the hospital, Diana's body was alone with her butler, Paul Burrell, and her driver, Colin Tebbutt. Stephanie Kaloi, Peoplemag, 17 Nov. 2023 The prospect of becoming empty nesters looms large, especially for Joe, who faces being left alone with his often domineering wife. Elaina Patton, Vogue, 16 Nov. 2023
Spotify isn’t alone—tech companies have slashed jobs throughout the year, with more than 250,000 people losing jobs worldwide in 2023, according to, a site that tracks job cuts in tech. Amanda Hoover, WIRED, 4 Dec. 2023 In Gillibrand’s home state alone, agents have used the law to seize more than 120 guns. Devlin Barrett, Washington Post, 4 Dec. 2023 According to Miranda, the song creation spanned five years alone. Kimberly Zapata, Parents, 3 Dec. 2023 This year alone, Marvel has released two other movies and three Disney+ TV series. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 3 Dec. 2023 The victims were not in or near homeless encampments but were on the streets alone. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, 1 Dec. 2023 PricewaterhouseCoopers is the highest-profile company implicated in the PCAOB’s disciplinary sanctions, fined $7 million alone. Lionel Lim, Fortune, 1 Dec. 2023 Photograph: Samantha Cooper Then again, this matter may not be settled through the courts alone. Kate Knibbs, WIRED, 22 Nov. 2023 In one episode alone, audiences met Bob Odenkirk, Jamie Lee Curtis, John Mulaney, Gillian Jacobs and Sarah Paulson. Emily Longeretta, Variety, 22 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'alone.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English al-one, alone, allone, from al, all all entry 2 + one one entry 1


Middle English, derivative of al-one, alone alone entry 1

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of alone was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near alone

Cite this Entry

“Alone.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
: separated from others
alone in her room
: not including anyone or anything else
money alone is not enough


2 of 2 adverb
: solely sense 1
the proof rests on that statement alone
: without company, aid, or support
did it alone

More from Merriam-Webster on alone

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