lonely

adjective
lone·​ly | \ ˈlōn-lē How to pronounce lonely (audio) \
lonelier; loneliest

Definition of lonely

1a : being without company : lone too many lonely nights at home
b : cut off from others : solitary the train stopped frequently at lonely little stations— Robert Hichens
2 : not frequented by human beings : desolate a lonely spot in the woods
3 : sad from being alone : lonesome He was feeling lonely without his wife and children.
4 : producing a feeling of bleakness or desolation it's a lonely thing to be a champion— G. B. Shaw

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Other Words from lonely

loneliness \ ˈlōn-​lē-​nəs How to pronounce loneliness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for lonely

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for lonely

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 lonely in a Sentence

He was lonely without his wife and children. She was a lonely child with few friends. It was lonely living out in the country. She spent too many lonely nights at home. She had a lonely childhood. a lonely spot in the woods a lonely stretch of road
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Recent Examples on the Web Again, democratic politics in its raw form is a great deal like ordinary schoolyard bullying, and bullies always prefer a weak victim to a strong one, and the vulnerability of the lonely and despised minority is itself provocative. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "A Host of Squalid Oligarchs," 3 Oct. 2019 According to a study released on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, North America’s skies are lonelier and quieter as nearly 3 billion fewer wild birds soar in the air than in 1970. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Where have the wild birds gone? 3 billion fewer than 1970," 19 Sep. 2019 Yet so many of us feel lonely and can't seem to shake it. Adele Jackson-gibson, Good Housekeeping, "12 Things to Do When You're Feeling Lonely, According to Experts," 9 Sep. 2019 For people dealing with mental health issues, the journey can seem like a lonely and daunting one. Danielle Pointdujour, Essence, "The Upgrade: Three Mental Health Apps To Help You Live Better," 28 Aug. 2019 Alex is lonely and self-pitying after Jessica dumped him for Justin again. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "The Timeline You Need To Understand 13 Reasons Why Season 3," 24 Aug. 2019 Suffering from autism that was never diagnosed or treated, Martin grew increasingly lonely and isolated at work, said the final sentencing memo obtained by The Baltimore Sun. Juliana Kim, baltimoresun.com, "Glen Burnie man who stole, hoarded millions of classified NSA documents sentenced to nine years in federal prison," 19 July 2019 But Daughter is also naive, a bit lonely, and frankly approaching puberty with no prospective human partners on the horizon. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "I Am Mother envisions a dark future world where AI is almost human," 13 June 2019 So, volunteering is one way to stay engaged and stimulated, rather than isolated and lonely, and thereby protect against cognitive decline. Kasley Killam, Scientific American, "A Solution for Loneliness," 21 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lonely.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lonely

circa 1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for lonely

Time Traveler

The first known use of lonely was circa 1598

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Statistics for lonely

Last Updated

20 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Lonely.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loneliness. Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for lonely

lonely

adjective
How to pronounce lonely (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lonely

: sad from being apart from other people
: causing sad feelings that come from being apart from other people
: not visited by or traveled on by many people

lonely

adjective
lone·​ly | \ ˈlōn-lē How to pronounce lonely (audio) \
lonelier; loneliest

Kids Definition of lonely

1 : lone sense 1 I saw a lonely figure in the distance.
2 : not often visited a lonely spot
3 : sad from being alone : lonesome a lonely child
4 : producing sad feelings from being alone I spent a lonely evening at home.

Other Words from lonely

loneliness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on lonely

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lonely

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lonely

Spanish Central: Translation of lonely

Nglish: Translation of lonely for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lonely for Arabic Speakers

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