lorn

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adjective \ˈlȯrn\

Definition of lorn

lorn was our Word of the Day on 02/16/2014. Hear the podcast!

Examples of lorn in a Sentence

  1. lorn beyond all description, the widow struggled to cope with her crushing grief

Did You Know?

Lorn and forlorn are synonyms that can both mean "desolate" or "forsaken." The similarity in form and meaning of the two words is hardly a coincidence. Lorn comes down to us from loren, the Middle English past participle of the verb lesen ("to lose"), itself a descendent of the Old English lēosan. Similarly, forlorn comes from the Middle English forloren, a descendent of Old English verb forlēosan, which also means "to lose." The "for-" in forlorn is a no longer productive prefix meaning, among other things, "completely," "excessively," or "to exhaustion." Nowadays, forlorn is considerably more common than "lorn." "Lorn" does, however, appear as the second element in the compound lovelorn ("bereft of love or of a lover").

Origin and Etymology of lorn

Middle English, from loren, past participle of lesen to lose, from Old English lēosan — more at lose


First Known Use: 14th century


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