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

alone, lone, lonesome, single, solitary, solo, unaccompanied

Antonyms

accompanied

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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

Baldwin also admitted to feeling lonely in her first weeks as a newlywed. Glamour, "Hailey Baldwin Responded to Rumors She and Justin Bieber Are Having "Trust Issues"," 18 Mar. 2019 Because you can be married and still be quite lonely. Sean Illing, Vox, "A divorce lawyer’s guide to staying together," 3 Dec. 2018 In a new essay that appeared online on Women's Health and Oprah Magazine, Mowry talked about the long and lonely road to getting an actual diagnosis for her pain. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Why Tia Mowry Wants More People in the Black Community to Talk About Endometriosis," 1 Nov. 2018 After time apart, one of them gets sentimental or lonely and reaches out. Author: Wayne And Wanda, Anchorage Daily News, "I can’t bear to watch my friend run back to her ex again. What do I tell her?," 21 Jan. 2018 For me, nothing has been more lonely, overwhelming, frightening, and humbling. Charlotte Hilton Andersen, Redbook, "Happy No-Judgment Day!," 30 Nov. 2011 Wosskow adds that entrepreneurialism can be lonely and hard. Prue Lewington, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Career Club Is the Global Sisterhood You've Always Wanted," 11 Feb. 2019 The future battlefield could become a lonely place with robotic vehicles fighting robotic vehicles. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This Tank-Killer Robot Could Revolutionize Ground Warfare," 14 June 2018 To Fretting: Empty lake houses far away from family and friends, where working-age kids visit for a few times a year, can be very lonely places. Carolyn Hax, Detroit Free Press, "Thought of moving to another town causes anxiety," 12 June 2018

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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Statistics for lonely

Last Updated

10 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lonely

The first known use of lonely was circa 1598

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More Definitions for lonely

lonely

adjective

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lonely

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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