lon·​er ˈlō-nər How to pronounce loner (audio)
: one that avoids others: such as
: a person who is often alone or likes to be alone : someone who usually avoids the company of others
He is a moody loner who doesn't become chummy with anyone.Sam Moses
Many rowers will agree that sculling is a sport for loners who relish the more quixotic elements of the sport.D. C. Churbuck
… she found that the image of the scientist as an antisocial loner is a myth …Warren E. Leary
: a typically solitary animal
Black bears are loners and usually wander by themselves in search of food.Mark Carwardine
Despite the fact they are loners, cats do have a well-organized social system based on scent marks and mutual avoidance.Fiona Sunquist

Examples of loner in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web While having an anti-social personality can be a trait serial killers display, a common myth is that all serial killers are loners. Ashlyn Messier, Fox News, 21 Mar. 2024 While a lot of little fish can be found in the same hole or run, big fish tend to be loners. Joe Cermele, Outdoor Life, 7 Mar. 2024 As the audience’s emotional proxy, Scott generates immediate sympathy as a soulful loner supremely deserving of the spontaneity and uncomplicated fun Harry brings. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 21 Dec. 2023 Here, a shaggy adventure tale about a delinquent foster boy and a taciturn New Zealand loner becomes all at once hilarious, wry, and wrenching as the mismatched and reluctant duo find themselves on the run in the wilderness after a series of misfortunes and misunderstandings. Dennis Perkins, EW.com, 17 Jan. 2024 Offerman plays Bill, a foul-mouthed loner who helps Joel and Ellie get a car in order to make their way to find the Fireflies. Saba Hamedy, NBC News, 16 Jan. 2024 Of course in pop culture, cowboys are stoic loners who push their bodies and minds to the limit. Andy Dunn, Fortune, 25 Jan. 2024 Johnson’s Drinking Buddies co-star Anna Kendrick signed on to play a fellow loner who joins Tommy as the game escalates, and Christopher Lloyd, Mary Holland, Natalie Morales, Emily Hampshire, and Dave’s GaTa took other supporting roles. Vulture, 17 Jan. 2024 Gregory, the elder, is a loner who rarely talks to others, even his own parents. Sarah Schutte, National Review, 21 Jan. 2024

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

Word History

First Known Use

1947, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of loner was in 1947

Dictionary Entries Near loner

Cite this Entry

“Loner.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loner. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


lon·​er ˈlō-nər How to pronounce loner (audio)
: one that avoids others
especially : individualist sense 1

More from Merriam-Webster on loner

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