Synonyms & Antonyms of lonely

2 sad from lack of companionship or separation from others
  • I was lonely when I first got to Los Angeles, but I soon made friends

Synonyms for lonely

Words Related to lonely

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Frequently Asked Questions About lonely

How is the word lonely distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of lonely are alone, desolate, forlorn, lonesome, lone, and solitary. While all these words mean "isolated from others," lonely adds to solitary a suggestion of longing for companionship.

felt lonely and forsaken

When is it sensible to use alone instead of lonely?

In some situations, the words alone and lonely are roughly equivalent. However, 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

When could desolate be used to replace lonely?

The synonyms desolate and lonely are sometimes interchangeable, but desolate implies inconsolable grief at loss or bereavement.

desolate after her brother's death

Where would forlorn be a reasonable alternative to lonely?

The words forlorn and lonely are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, forlorn stresses dejection, woe, and listlessness at separation from one held dear.

a forlorn lost child

How does the word lone relate to other synonyms for lonely?

Lone may replace lonely or lonesome but typically is as objective as alone.

a lone robin pecking at the lawn

In what contexts can lonesome take the place of lonely?

The words lonesome and lonely can be used in similar contexts, but lonesome heightens the suggestion of sadness and poignancy.

an only child often leads a lonesome life

When would solitary be a good substitute for lonely?

While the synonyms solitary and lonely are close in meaning, solitary may indicate isolation as a chosen course, but more often it suggests sadness and a sense of loss.

glorying in the calm of her solitary life

left solitary by the death of his wife

Learn More About lonely

Time Traveler for lonely

Time Traveler

The first known use of lonely was circa 1598

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Thesaurus Entries Near lonely




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Cite this Entry

“Lonely.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on lonely

Nglish: Translation of lonely for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lonely for Arabic Speakers


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