lon·​er | \ ˈlō-nər How to pronounce loner (audio) \

Definition of loner

1 : one that avoids others: such as
a : 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
b : 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

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Examples of loner in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The lives of best friends diverge after high-school graduation and their encounter with a pathetic loner. Los Angeles Times, "Here are the feature and TV films airing the week of Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019," 11 Aug. 2019 In many of the recent tragedies, the shooters were described as loners, full of emotional pain and who, at times, were blatantly antisocial. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, "Dr. Sanjay Gupta: The epidemic of gun violence is treatable," 6 Aug. 2019 As with the Islamic State’s calls for mass murder, this worldview has resonated among young men, mostly loners, who might have previously expressed little ideological fervor or experienced much hardship. New York Times, "White Terrorism Shows ‘Stunning’ Parallels to Islamic State’s Rise," 5 Aug. 2019 The latest series returns to its loner, neo-Gothic roots, so to speak, with dark magic baddies and creeping tentacles everywhere, as well as a supernatural subplot featuring one of DC’s most obscure vigilantes — Blue Devil. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "Superheroes behaving badly: 12 crusading TV series target mature audiences," 4 Aug. 2019 Investigators say the 19-year-old who opened fire at a California food festival was a loner and his motive for the deadly attack remains a mystery. San Diego Union-Tribune, "California festival killer’s motive still a mystery," 31 July 2019 Among the gallery of loners is an elderly kite-flying eccentric, an overworked sheriff, a beautiful widow who has obdurately rebuffed the advances of a queue of suitors and a shadowy millionaire who has returned bearing promises to revamp the town. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: The Enduring Appeal of Fading Pleasures," 27 Sep. 2018 Reinking was regarded as somewhat of a loner, considered socially awkward by some. Elvia Malagon, latimes.com, "In tiny Illinois town, residents hesitate to acknowledge accused shooter as one of their own," 25 Apr. 2018 Very different strategies and budgets will be needed to dissuade thousands of teetering loners from Stalin-grade killing sprees. Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "In the not-so-distant future, “synbio” could lead to global catastrophe—maybe," 18 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'loner.' 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 loner

1947, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for loner

Last Updated

16 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for loner

The first known use of loner was in 1947

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English Language Learners Definition of loner

: a person who is often alone or who likes to be alone

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More from Merriam-Webster on loner

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with loner

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for loner

Spanish Central: Translation of loner

Nglish: Translation of loner for Spanish Speakers

Comments on loner

What made you want to look up loner? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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