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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from lonesome


lonesomely adverb
lonesomeness noun

Synonyms for lonesome

Synonyms: Adjective

desolate, forlorn, lonely, lorn

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

For the average South African, the name Orania conjures images of wizened old racists wasting away in the hot and lonesome Karoo. Gregory Barber, WIRED, "Inside an All-White Town’s Divisive Experiment With Cryptocurrency," 6 June 2019 Before the army departed for King's Landing, the Hound got a head start, setting off towards the capital by his lonesome for one last duel with the Mountain. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Will the Cleganebowl Be Sparked by Arya Dying on 'Game of Thrones'?," 6 May 2019 Kate's second event for the day was a truly solo, all-by-her-lonesome visit to the Foundling Museum in London, where she was announced as a new patron. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Copied Charlotte's Signature Wave at Her Last Engagement," 20 Mar. 2019 In her debut novel, veteran essayist Martha Woodroof turns her attention to a lonesome literature professor charged with the care of his reclusive mother-in-law. Adrienne Westenfeld, Town & Country, "The Ultimate Preppy College Reading List," 3 Oct. 2014 Now Longjiang-2 orbits the moon by its lonesome, testing out future radio astronomy and interferometry techniques (studying what happens when light, radio, electromagnetic, and various other types of waves are met with interference). David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Chinese Satellite Nabs Stunning Moon-Earth Shot," 6 Feb. 2019 During the beta testing phase this May, hardly anyone was approved to be a beta tester, so the worlds of Maple were lonesome. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Now that the crowd is here, the fun can begin in MapleStory 2," 4 Nov. 2018 On the bases: JaCoby Jones created a run nearly by his lonesome. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Michael Fulmer stumbles as Detroit Tigers lose to Cincinnati Reds, 5-3," 20 June 2018 Set in the Iranian ghost town of Bad City, a lonesome vampire that stalks the local residents. Ashley Nkadi, Teen Vogue, "15 Scary Movies Directed by Women Perfect for Halloween," 30 Oct. 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.

See More

First Known Use of lonesome


1647, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1899, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lonesome

Statistics for lonesome

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lonesome

The first known use of lonesome was in 1647

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lonesome



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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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


to complain fretfully

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!