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 (fər-lôrn′, fôr-)
a. Abandoned, deserted, or desolate: "my high school chums ... enjoying cider and doughnuts ... while I was trapped up on that forlorn mountain" (Howard Frank Mosher).
b. Sad or lonely, especially from being deserted or abandoned: "waved them goodbye from the door like forlorn parents waving off a honeymoon couple" (Anne Bartlett).
c. Suggesting or characterized by sadness or loneliness: the forlorn whistle of a train in the night.
d. Wretched or pitiful in appearance or condition: people living in forlorn shacks.
2. Bereft or deprived: forlorn of all hope.
3. Nearly hopeless; desperate: a forlorn acknowledgment of failure.

[Middle English forloren, past participle of forlesen, to abandon, from Old English forlēosan; see leu- in Indo-European roots.]

for·lorn′ly adv.
for·lorn′ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.forlornness - sadness resulting from being forsaken or abandoned
sadness, unhappiness - emotions experienced when not in a state of well-being
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
There was a steaming mist in all the hollows, and it had roamed in its forlornness up the hill, like an evil spirit, seeking rest and finding none.
When I had done, the poor girl, in the extremity of her forlornness and distress, forgot all the little maidenly conventionalities and young-lady-like restraints of everyday life--and, in a burst of natural grief and honest confiding helplessness, hid her face on my bosom, and cried there as if she were a child again, and I was the mother to whom she had been used to look for comfort.
Nancy's aching sympathy for the poor little forlornness beside her turned suddenly into shocked terror.
You must know, Bella, my dear, and Mr Rokesmith, that when I first named to my husband my thoughts of adopting a little orphan boy in remembrance of John Harmon, I further named to my husband that it was comforting to think that how the poor boy would be benefited by John's own money, and protected from John's own forlornness.'
Then her breast began to heave, the tears came, and in her forlornness she was moved to try that other dream of hers-- an appeal to her boy's charity; and so, upon the impulse, and without reflection, she offered her supplication:
"Yes," responded Abbot; "if she were a nice, pretty child, one might compassionate her forlornness; but one really cannot care for such a little toad as that."
Anyway, it is only a trifling matter, and I am almost ashamed to put it down here in writing--it seems to set the forlornness of our situation in such a miserably vivid light.
There, then, he sat, holding up that imbecile candle in the heart of that almighty forlornness. There, then, he sat, the sign and symbol of a man without faith, hopelessly holding up hope in the midst of despair.
Nioche knew his own language, and his appealing forlornness was quite the perfection of what the American, for vague reasons, had always associated with all elderly foreigners of the lesson-giving class.
Our moods are apt to bring with them images which succeed each other like the magic-lantern pictures of a doze; and in certain states of dull forlornness Dorothea all her life continued to see the vastness of St.
On the contrary, who her mother was, and how she came to die in that forlornness, were questions that often pressed on Eppie's mind.
The utter forlornness of the vista brought volts of panic.