lone·​some | \ˈlōn(t)-səm \

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

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


He was lonesome for his family. The empty house seemed so lonesome.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The club’s stark landscapes and portraits of lonesome cowboys are a source of pride for Ms. Davis, a Tucson native, who like her husband, Brett, is a flesh-and-blood ambassador for modern Western life. Joe Drape, New York Times, "On an Arizona Road Trip, Miles of Family Firsts," 12 June 2018 Adults between 18 and 22 were the most lonesome, with an average score of 48.3. Cassie Owens, Philly.com, "Philadelphians are lonely, and young people feel it the most, says study," 7 May 2018 If Fogerty's Centerfield extols the unbridled excitement of playing the game, Right Field shines a light on the fear (and boredom, for some) being all by your lonesome when a fly ball is headed your way. Stefan Stevenson, star-telegram, "The 10 best songs about baseball," 6 July 2018 Not selling out, however, had become a lonesome endeavor. Vauhini Vara, Fortune, "Can This Startup Break Big Tech’s Hold on A.I.?," 25 June 2018 The easygoing comic actor snags laughs by his lonesome, simply by providing deadpan reactions and blithe non sequiturs while others strain for effect. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "'Tag' review: Don't these guys have anything else to do?," 14 June 2018 So often, shopping is a lonesome and thankless expedition. Kara Baskin, BostonGlobe.com, "Service with a smile — and a keen style sense — at La Mia Moda," 2 May 2018 Then, the breathing, coming from one side of his lonesome little guard booth and now from the other. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Known Unknown: Tales of the Yucca Man," 25 Apr. 2018 All by its lonesome — remember, there were 13 original colonies. T. R. Fehrenbach, San Antonio Express-News, "No celebration seen for statehood anniversary," 16 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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

The first known use of lonesome was in 1647

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More Definitions for lonesome



English Language Learners Definition of lonesome

: 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 \

Kids Definition of lonesome

1 : sad from being without companions

2 : not often visited or traveled over the lonesome frontier

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More from Merriam-Webster on lonesome

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lonesome

Spanish Central: Translation of lonesome

Nglish: Translation of lonesome for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lonesome for Arabic Speakers

Comments on lonesome

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playful or foolish behavior

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