Synonyms & Antonyms of lonesome

1 sad from lack of companionship or separation from others
  • a lonesome kitten left at the pound by its hard-hearted owners

Synonyms for lonesome

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Frequently Asked Questions About lonesome

How is the word lonesome distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of lonesome are alone, desolate, forlorn, lonely, lone, and solitary. While all these words mean "isolated from others," lonesome heightens the suggestion of sadness and poignancy.

an only child often leads a lonesome life

When is alone a more appropriate choice than lonesome?

In some situations, the words alone and lonesome 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 lonesome?

While in some cases nearly identical to lonesome, desolate implies inconsolable grief at loss or bereavement.

desolate after her brother's death

When is it sensible to use forlorn instead of lonesome?

Although the words forlorn and lonesome have much in common, 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 lonesome?

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

a lone robin pecking at the lawn

How are the words lonely and solitary related as synonyms of lonesome?

Lonely adds to solitary a suggestion of longing for companionship.

felt lonely and forsaken

When can solitary be used instead of lonesome?

The meanings of solitary and lonesome largely overlap; however, 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

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Time Traveler for lonesome

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The first known use of lonesome was in 1647

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Cite this Entry

“Lonesome.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on lonesome

Nglish: Translation of lonesome for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lonesome for Arabic Speakers


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