: having no company : solitary
: preferring solitude
: only, sole
: situated by itself : isolated
loneness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for lone

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

the lone ripe apple in the entire bag just one lone cow in the middle of the field
Recent Examples on the Web The lone loss came to Oregon, 28-27, in the 2020 Rose Bowl. Jeff Potrykus, Journal Sentinel, 28 May 2023 Malone paced the Nittany Lions’ attack with a game-high eight points on six goals and two assists, while Winkoff recorded five helpers in addition to his lone goal. USA TODAY, 27 May 2023 But despite being 9-1-2 and the reigning state champions with their lone loss coming against an out-of-state opponent, the Juneau-Douglas girls team isn’t among the top seeds at this year’s state tournament, which starts Thursday in Anchorage. Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, 25 May 2023 Brandon Vazquez provided the contest's lone goal via a header off an Alvaro Barreal corner kick. The Enquirer, 11 May 2023 Colts legend Reggie Wayne, 44, the lone holdover on the staff, offensive quality control coach Brian Bratton, 40, and running backs coach DeAndre Smith, 54, are the only primary assistants over age 40. The Indianapolis Star, 19 Apr. 2023 The lone remaining issue is whether taxpayers will foot attorney fees for the landlord groups. Stephen Hudak, Orlando Sentinel, 17 Apr. 2023 The Woodlands 1, Garland Naaman Forest 0: Patryk Jankowski scored the lone goal in The Woodlands’ 1-0 win over Garland Naaman Forest in the 6A Region II semifinals. Shawn Mcfarland, Dallas News, 8 Apr. 2023 Porter has gone viral for her tough questioning of Big Oil and Wall Street executives at congressional hearings, while Lee is famous for casting the lone vote in Congress against the war in Afghanistan. David Sivak, Washington Examiner, 8 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lone.' 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, short for alone

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of lone was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near lone

Cite this Entry

“Lone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lone. Accessed 31 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


: having no company : solitary
a lone traveler
: situated by itself
a lone outpost

More from Merriam-Webster on lone

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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