lonely

play
adjective lone·ly \ ˈlōn-lē \

Definition of lonely

lonelier; loneliest
1 a :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

loneliness

play \ˈlōn-lē-nəs\ noun

Examples of lonely in a Sentence

  1. He was lonely without his wife and children.

  2. She was a lonely child with few friends.

  3. It was lonely living out in the country.

  4. She spent too many lonely nights at home.

  5. She had a lonely childhood.

  6. a lonely spot in the woods

  7. a lonely stretch of road

Recent Examples of lonely from the Web

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.

First Known Use of lonely

circa 1598

Synonym Discussion of 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


LONELY Defined for English Language Learners

lonely

play
adjective

Definition of lonely for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

lonely

play
adjective lone·ly \ ˈlōn-lē \

Definition of lonely for Students

lonelier; loneliest
1 :lone 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.

loneliness

noun


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