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

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

Adjective He was lonesome for his family. The empty house seemed so lonesome.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The film would win the Academy Award for Best Picture and the adoration of legions of fans while capturing the lonesome bravado and sordid materialism of America in its crass urban decline. Washington Post, "‘Midnight Cowboy’ was a masterpiece made of desperation," 31 Mar. 2021 San Juan Huts also provides detailed navigation to keep you on course and less lonesome. Andrew Nelson, WSJ, "Your Guide to Living Well in the Great Outdoors," 27 Mar. 2021 Fern, the film’s lonesome hero, calls hers Vanguard. Sarah Jones, Vulture, "No Country for the Old: On Nomadland and Some Kind of Heaven," 25 Mar. 2021 The Acropolis turned into a place for lonesome contemplation, freed from the busloads of tourists who usually churn through its winding paths. Washington Post, "While Americans faced stimulus check uncertainty, Europe paid to keep workers employed," 11 Mar. 2021 After San Diego State plays at UNLV on Wednesday night, players and coaches will board buses for the lonesome five-hour ride home through the desert. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Aztecs notes: Extra COVID precautions for trip to Las Vegas," 1 Mar. 2021 Ozuna sells yearning, romantic tunes in a high, lonesome croon; Anuel’s gruff tone hints at, and sometimes revels in, a palpable darkness. Craig Jenkins, Vulture, "Anuel AA and Ozuna Are Better Off Building Separate Empires," 25 Jan. 2021 The theater community, settling in for a dark year, was beleaguered and lonesome. Jake Coyle, chicagotribune.com, "Performing in the pandemic, by Zoom, drive-in and doorstep," 22 Dec. 2020 Aziz, wallowing in mid-life crisis, seeks solace from his mundane job, lonesome friends and rowdy family in this Turkish film. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "Everything new on Netflix in January: 'Cobra Kai' premieres Season 3, David Spade hosts 'Afterparty'," 17 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Johnson also focused on bringing out Monroe’s vocals, which were much lower and subtler than her traditional high-lonesome whine. Jonathan Bernstein, Rolling Stone, "Ashley Monroe Leaves Sad Songs — and Country — Behind on New Album," 29 Apr. 2021 Instead, the new year seemed poised to only offer shots of a weary-looking Ben collecting his daily Dunkin’ order by his lonesome. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "Being Stuck at Home for a Year Has Led to One Repeated Question: What’s Ben Affleck Doing Now?," 4 Mar. 2021 Moose junior Nathan Wheeler stood by his lonesome and converted on Matias Broughton’s centering pass from behind the net 26 seconds later. Matt Nevala, Anchorage Daily News, "Homer erases two-goal deficit to claim DII state hockey title with overtime victory over Palmer," 21 Feb. 2021 The elephant remained outside, all by its lonesome, until 1989, when it was joined by another of Sandoval’s elephants. Deborah Martin, ExpressNews.com, "Hertzberg Circus Museum elephant sculptures restored, reunited at Witte Museum in San Antonio," 25 Jan. 2021 This year, the vibrant amalgam of Christian and pre-Hispanic rites — coinciding with the Roman Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day on Sunday and Monday — will be a lonesome affair, more private reflection than collective tribute. Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus has claimed more than 90,000 lives in Mexico, muting the country’s iconic Day of the Dead," 31 Oct. 2020 Which seemed to work just fine until absent fans got a look at Ehlinger all by his lonesome, a powerful image at that. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, "In what was supposed to be a breakout season, Tom Herman’s walking a thin line between solidarity and tradition," 17 Oct. 2020 Among the many changes (understatement of the year) that have occurred in 2020 was Zach and Jeramy’s relocation to Oklahoma City, and consequently, my going on long walks more regularly by my lonesome in Houston. Joanna O'leary, Houston Chronicle, "How long walks connected me to Houston, my neighbors and myself," 12 Oct. 2020 To hear and listen to those distinct sounds, those lonesome sounds, those happy sounds. Trisha Gopal, CNN, "In this North Carolina town, the hills are alive with the sound of hollerin'," 5 Sep. 2020

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

Time Traveler for lonesome

Time Traveler

The first known use of lonesome was in 1647

See more words from the same year

Statistics for lonesome

Last Updated

7 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lonesome.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lonesome. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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