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

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 Discovered by former editor-in-chief Csaba Csere in the 1980s after the section of Sierra High-way previously used for testing became too busy, the road remains lonesome. Tony Quiroga, Car and Driver, 17 Mar. 2022 The new novel opens with Bix Bouton taking a lonesome walk. Mark Greif, The Atlantic, 15 Mar. 2022 The song is pulled together by — what else? — the lonesome moan of a saxophone, provided by P.E.’s Benjamin Jaffe. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 16 Feb. 2022 For an extra five grand, there’s a two-burner induction cooktop and a sink, for those lonesome nights out on the range with the dogies. John Seabrook, The New Yorker, 24 Jan. 2022 Now that the once-private, lonesome pursuit of long-distance running is an increasingly public exercise, there’s more incentive than ever to chronicle our successes and failures for an expectant readership. Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online, 22 Oct. 2021 And that has left me in very lonesome spots sometimes. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, 22 Jan. 2022 In all this, the archbishop’s promotion of his Christian striving for peace might have seemed doomed, a lonesome voice in a bloodstained wilderness. New York Times, 26 Dec. 2021 Images of protests are also prevalent, along with images showing lonesome buildings surrounded by grass and air. Wired Photo Department, Wired, 21 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Follow-up images show Kardashian posing by her lonesome, as others see the mother of one on the red carpet for the premiere event. Nicholas Rice, PEOPLE.com, 9 Apr. 2022 The vibe was chatty, convivial, and most of all crowded—a pointed rejoinder to last year’s lonesome, COVID-era solo performance by the Weeknd. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, 14 Feb. 2022 As the name suggests, this event features a single, female participant tasked with quickly navigating a sled down the windy, icy track all by her lonesome. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 5 Feb. 2022 But the real killer might be Fresno State wedged between the journey to the high lonesome and the season finale at Nevada — three games in six days in three different states and two at elevation. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Feb. 2022 Many of the most important Western films have, in one way or another, complicated the lonesome-and-noble male archetype. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 20 Jan. 2022 May no one reading this ever have to repack a rug and lug it to your local UPS drop-off point all on your lonesome. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 15 Jan. 2022 The 21st person, who remained stuck on another car by their lonesome, was rescued several hours later. Emmett Jones, Fox News, 3 Jan. 2022 Luke Hemsworth also joined the outing and shared a hilarious video of himself singing by his lonesome while on a ski lift. Nicholas Rice, PEOPLE.com, 26 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near lonesome

lone scout


Lone Star

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Statistics for lonesome

Last Updated

26 Mar 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lonesome.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lonesome. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for lonesome


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

More from Merriam-Webster on lonesome

Nglish: Translation of lonesome for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lonesome for Arabic Speakers


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