\ ˈlȯrn How to pronounce lorn (audio) \

Definition of lorn

Keep scrolling for more

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").

Examples of lorn in a Sentence

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

First Known Use of lorn

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lorn

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lorn

Time Traveler for lorn

Time Traveler

The first known use of lorn was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about lorn

Statistics for lorn

Cite this Entry

“Lorn.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lorn. Accessed 5 December 2019.

More from Merriam-Webster on lorn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lorn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lorn

Comments on lorn

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


to accept, comply, or submit

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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!