lone·​some | \ ˈlōn(t)-səm How to pronounce lonesome (audio) \

Definition of lonesome

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : sad or dejected as a result of lack of companionship or separation from others don't be lonesome while we are gone
b : causing a feeling of loneliness the empty house seemed so lonesome
2a : remote, unfrequented look down, look down that lonesome road— Gene Austin
b : lone



Definition of lonesome (Entry 2 of 2)

: self sat all by his lonesome

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Other Words from lonesome


lonesomely adverb
lonesomeness noun

Synonyms for lonesome

Synonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for lonesome


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 lonesome in a Sentence

Adjective He was lonesome for his family. The empty house seemed so lonesome.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Family voices weave in and out in high and lonesome harmonies. Pat Mcdonogh, The Courier-Journal, "The circle remains unbroken at this down-home, old-timey music venue in rural Kentucky," 23 Dec. 2019 Here are a few features to consider before heading down that lonesome trail. The Editors, Outdoor Life, "How to Pick a Bivy Tent for Solo Camping," 19 Nov. 2019 Roy is something of a Man With No Name, a lonesome cowboy on a wagon train through the stars who runs into an assortment of intriguing people along the way. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Ad Astra Is a Deeply Human Tale Set Amid the Stars," 18 Sep. 2019 People can use them to enjoy the other things on the tray, and also to snack on bare naked on their lonesome. Katie Workman, NBC News, "Think beyond your basic pepperoni and cheddar. Here's how to build the snacky graze board of your dreams.," 12 Dec. 2019 In the title role of Jove’s beautiful mistress, who dooms herself by seeking immortality, the soprano Amanda Forsythe sang on Saturday afternoon with breezy lucidity, shaping a character more lonesome and pensive than superficial or vain. Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, "A Festival Adds to Opera’s Soaring Body Count," 23 Sep. 2019 Truth Mind and Body, 10 Fila Way in Sparks, offers 60- and 90-minute floats in salt-laden waters, all by your lonesome, for $80-$100. Chris Kaltenbach, baltimoresun.com, "Thanksgiving is over. Now what? 8 things to do in Baltimore with (or without) your relatives," 29 Nov. 2019 On those vast and lonesome horizons, a policeman would have been welcome. Paul Salopek, National Geographic, "Nat Geo's world walker maps every time police stop him," 25 Oct. 2019 And subsequent episodes trace Monroe’s high-and-lonesome legacy, weaving in the career threads of Monroe’s fellow bluegrass inventors Lester Flatt and the banjo wunderkind Earl Scruggs. David Cantwell, The New Yorker, "Ken Burns’s Delightful “Country Music” Gets the Big Things Mostly Right," 15 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The move towards belting out tunes on one’s lonesome does not seem to have affected musical preferences. The Economist, "Karaoke with colleagues is no longer compulsory in South Korea," 22 Aug. 2019 Just stick to the one lonesome individually wrapped container of corn. Patrick Varone, Harper's BAZAAR, "How To Throw a Chic Couch Party," 4 Apr. 2014

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


1647, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1899, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for lonesome

Time Traveler

The first known use of lonesome was in 1647

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Statistics for lonesome

Last Updated

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lonesome.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lonesome. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for lonesome


How to pronounce lonesome (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lonesome

chiefly US
: 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


lone·​some | \ ˈlōn-səm How to pronounce lonesome (audio) \

Kids Definition of lonesome

1 : sad from being without companions
2 : not often visited or traveled over the lonesome frontier

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