lorn

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


Learn More about lorn


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by intense feeling

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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