: having no company : solitary
: preferring solitude
: only, sole
: situated by itself : isolated
loneness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for lone

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 lone in a Sentence

the lone ripe apple in the entire bag just one lone cow in the middle of the field
Recent Examples on the Web Jury selection for the lone remaining suspect, who prosecutors said was behind the wheel when Frickey died, got underway after the three girls' guilty pleas were entered. CBS News, 21 Nov. 2023 The lone people buying refrigerated sandwiches there got absorbed into groups. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, 17 Nov. 2023 The United States Grand Prix was the lone F1 stop in America from 2012 through 2021. Jenna Fryer, Fortune Europe, 17 Nov. 2023 Last week, 22 House Democrats even joined with most Republican members to formally censure Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the lone Palestinian American in Congress and an original Squad member. Geoffrey Skelley, ABC News, 17 Nov. 2023 Hill agrees with the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone shooter. Liz McNeil, Peoplemag, 15 Nov. 2023 In five seasons with the Blue Jays, the Cuban native never batted under .276, and in his lone season in Arizona hit a career-high 24 homers. Steve Henson, Los Angeles Times, 8 Nov. 2023 The money helped pay to remodel a school and allowed the town to hire its lone police officer. Deon J. Hampton, NBC News, 6 Nov. 2023 Florentino, a lone plainsmen, crosses paths with a man in a black hat and black cloak on a black horse — i.e., el Diablo himself. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 6 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lone.' 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, short for alone

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of lone was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near lone

Cite this Entry

“Lone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lone. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: having no company : solitary
a lone traveler
: situated by itself
a lone outpost

More from Merriam-Webster on lone

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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