1 of 2


: separated from others : isolated
was alone in the office
: exclusive of anyone or anything else : only
She alone knows what happened.
: considered without reference to any other
The children alone would eat that much.
: incomparable, unique
They are alone among their contemporaries in this respect.
aloneness noun


2 of 2


: solely, exclusively
The blame is mine alone.
: without aid or support
He said he could do it alone.
Choose the Right Synonym for alone

alone, solitary, lonely, lonesome, lone, forlorn, desolate mean isolated from others.

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

solitary may indicate isolation as a chosen course

glorying in the calm of her solitary life

but more often it suggests sadness and a sense of loss.

left solitary by the death of his wife

lonely adds to solitary a suggestion of longing for companionship.

felt lonely and forsaken

lonesome heightens the suggestion of sadness and poignancy.

an only child often leads a lonesome life

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

a lone robin pecking at the lawn

forlorn stresses dejection, woe, and listlessness at separation from one held dear.

a forlorn lost child

desolate implies inconsolable grief at loss or bereavement.

desolate after her brother's death

Example Sentences

Adjective This wine goes well with food, but is also very good alone. I got him alone and asked him what had really happened. She lived alone for many years. She doesn't mind being alone because she never feels lonely. He was alone with his thoughts. He felt very alone when he went away to school. Adverb The police believe the criminal acted alone. The price alone is enough to discourage people. The special effects alone make the movie worth seeing. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
The retailer isn't alone in experiencing an increase in thefts and other problems, Cornell said on a conference call to discuss Target's most recent quarterly earnings. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 17 May 2023 Perhaps many Americans are alone in a crowd, awash in a sea of voices both physical and virtual yet by themselves much of the time, seeking community but suspicious of it. Ted Anthony, Anchorage Daily News, 16 May 2023 Aitkin wasn’t alone in wanting a permanent job alongside Kaludjak and Connelly, according to a report on birthing preferences in Kivalliq that the territorial government commissioned after the Inuit midwives resigned. Kelly Grant/the Globe And Mail (canada), San Francisco Chronicle, 15 May 2023 In our experience, a successful mother-daughter trip is one that includes making memories together as well as fitting in some alone time. Lydia Mansel, Travel + Leisure, 14 May 2023 In the play Prima Facie, Jodie Comer is alone on stage for the full length of the show’s 100 minutes, starting as a brash, bloviating barrister, then turning to a quieter, more vulnerable woman trying to find justice for herself in the very legal system that had previously propped her up. Caitlin Huston, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 May 2023 When they're left alone for the weekend, all sorts of secrets come out. Aimée Lutkin, ELLE, 9 May 2023 Lithuanian Aurimas Valujavičius, 28, became the third person to row alone mainland to mainland across the Atlantic Ocean from Spain to Florida, according to the Ocean Rowing Society. Alexandra Kukulka, Chicago Tribune, 9 May 2023 Children should never be alone near a pool or any water source. Ellie Willard, The Arizona Republic, 8 May 2023
His return alone was one of the best reality TV stories ever. Dalton Ross,, 18 May 2023 The stress of trying to make ends meet, and do it alone, takes a toll. Amelia Arvesen, Women's Health, 17 May 2023 The sheer number of costume changes alone justify its three-hour runtime. Scottie Andrew, CNN, 17 May 2023 Until now, teenagers weren’t supposed to ride alone in an Uber. Heather Kelly, Washington Post, 17 May 2023 Additionally, the price of Global Entry is $100, only $22 more than the price of PreCheck alone. Maya Kachroo-levine, Travel + Leisure, 17 May 2023 Temperatures in Green Bay, Wisconsin's third-largest city after Madison and Milwaukee, average 24 degrees in January, with more than a foot of snow in that month alone. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 16 May 2023 This year alone, 541 pieces of legislation attacking transgender people and their rights have been introduced in 49 states, compared with 174 proposed in 2022, according to data compiled by Trans Legislation Tracker. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, 12 May 2023 All told, that would amount to about $5 billion in savings in California alone. Brian Merchant, Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'alone.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English al-one, alone, allone, from al, all all entry 2 + one one entry 1


Middle English, derivative of al-one, alone alone entry 1

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of alone was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near alone

Cite this Entry

“Alone.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
: separated from others
alone in her room
: not including anyone or anything else
money alone is not enough


2 of 2 adverb
: solely sense 1
the proof rests on that statement alone
: without company, aid, or support
did it alone

More from Merriam-Webster on alone

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