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adj. lone·li·er, lone·li·est
a. Dejected by the awareness of being alone. See Synonyms at alone.
b. Producing such dejection: the loneliest night of the week.
2. Without others of a similar kind; lone; solitary: "a lonely band of lawyers up against the might of the American legal establishment" (Nick Kotz).
3. Unfrequented by people; desolate: a lonely crossroads.

lone′li·ly adv.
lone′li·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.


adj, -lier or -liest
1. unhappy as a result of being without the companionship of others: a lonely man.
2. causing or resulting from the state of being alone: a lonely existence.
3. isolated, unfrequented, or desolate
4. without companions; solitary
ˈloneliness n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈloʊn li)

adj. -li•er, -li•est.
1. affected with or causing a depressing feeling of being alone; lonesome.
2. destitute of sympathetic or friendly companionship, support, etc.: a lonely exile.
3. lone; solitary; without company; companionless.
4. remote from places of human habitation; desolate; unfrequented: a lonely road.
5. standing apart; isolated: a lonely tower.
lone′li•ness, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


, lonesome, forlorn, desolate - Lonely adds to solitary a suggestion of longing for companionship, while lonesome heightens the suggestion of sadness; forlorn and desolate are even more isolated and sad.
See also related terms for suggestion.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. 'alone'

If you are alone, you are not with any other people.

I wanted to be alone.
Barbara spent most of her time alone in the flat.

Be Careful!
Don't use 'alone' in front of a noun. For example, don't talk about 'an alone woman'. Instead, you say 'a woman on her own'.

These holidays are popular with people on their own.
2. 'lonely'

Don't confuse alone with lonely. If you are lonely, you are unhappy because you don't have any friends or anyone to talk to. Lonely is used either in front of a noun or after a linking verb like be or feel.

He was a lonely little boy.
She must be very lonely here.


1. 'lonely'

In British English, someone who is lonely is unhappy because they are alone.

Since he left India he had been lonely and homesick.
2. 'lonesome'

American speakers sometimes say lonesome, not 'lonely'.

I bet you told her how lonesome you were.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.lonely - lacking companions or companionshiplonely - lacking companions or companionship; "he was alone when we met him"; "she is alone much of the time"; "the lone skier on the mountain"; "a lonely fisherman stood on a tuft of gravel"; "a lonely soul"; "a solitary traveler"
unaccompanied - being without an escort
2.lonely - marked by dejection from being alone; "felt sad and lonely"; "the loneliest night of the week"; "lonesome when her husband is away"; "spent a lonesome hour in the bar"
dejected - affected or marked by low spirits; "is dejected but trying to look cheerful"
3.lonely - characterized by or preferring solitude; "a lone wolf"; "a lonely existence"; "a man of a solitary disposition"; "a solitary walk"
unsocial - not seeking or given to association; being or living without companions; "the unsocial disposition to neglect one's neighbors"
4.lonely - devoid of creatures; "a lonely crossroads"; "a solitary retreat"; "a trail leading to an unfrequented lake"
uninhabited - not having inhabitants; not lived in; "an uninhabited island"; "gaping doors of uninhabited houses"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. Lacking the company of others:
4. Dejected due to the awareness of being alone:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
مُتَوَحِّدْمُنْعَزِلوَحيد، بدون أصْدِقاء
cô đơn


1. (lonelier (compar) (loneliest (superl))) (= without company) he was a sad and lonely manera un hombre triste y solitario
to feel lonelysentirse solo
I was lonely and didn't know what to dome sentía solo y no sabía qué hacer
2. (= solitary) [life, place, period of time] → solitario
the lonely hours of the nightlas horas nocturnas de soledad, las solitarias horas de la noche
it's lonely at the topuno se siente muy solo en la cumbre
3. (= remote) [village, house] → solitario, aislado; [road] → solitario
4. (liter) (= mournful) [sound] → lúgubre y solitario (liter)
B. NPL the lonelylas personas que están solas
C. CPD lonely hearts club Nclub m de corazones solitarios
lonely hearts (column) Nsección f de corazones solitarios
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈləʊnli] adj
[person] → seul(e); [childhood, night] → solitaire
It was a lonely time → C'était une période où je me sentais seul.
to feel lonely → se sentir seul(e)
She feels a bit lonely → Elle se sent un peu seule.
[place] → solitaire, isolé(e)lonely hearts modif
lonely hearts ad → petite annonce f (personnelle)
lonely hearts club → club m de rencontres (pour personnes seules)lone parent nparent m uniquelone parent family nfamille f monoparentale
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


adj (+er)einsam; it’s lonely at the topan der Spitze lebt es sich einsam; lonely hearts adKontaktanzeige f; lonely hearts columnKontaktanzeigen pl; lonely hearts clubSingletreff m, → Singleklub m
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈləʊnlɪ] adj (-ier (comp) (-iest (superl))) (person) → solitario/a; (place, isolated) → isolato/a; (deserted) → deserto/a
to be or feel lonely → sentirsi solo/a
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ləun) adjective
solitary, without companions, by itself etc. a lone figure on the beach.
ˈlonely adjective
1. lacking or wanting companionship. Aren't you lonely, living by yourself?
2. (of a place) far away from busy places, having few people. a lonely island.
ˈloneliness noun
ˈlonesome adjective
(especially American) lonely; solitary. She feels lonesome when her brothers are at school.
ˈlonesomeness noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


مُتَوَحِّدْ osamělý ensom einsam μοναχικός solo yksinäinen seul usamljen solo 孤独の 고독한 eenzaam ensom samotny solitário одинокий ensam หงอยเหงา yalnız cô đơn 孤独的
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
The little boy heard his parents say, "The old man opposite is very well off, but he is so very, very lonely!"
Lonely I stand On the lonelier hill-top, Cloudland beneath me And cloudland around me.
Naturally enough it never came, for with numbers of friends of their own the Nixons did not think of the lonely, silent boy whose claim upon their hospitality was so small.
But, all the same, the reader will admit that it must be lonely for me, and not another sister left to take pity on me, all somewhere happily settled down in the Fortunate Isles.
The peddler with his pack traversed the country by all manner of lonely roads, and was compelled to rely upon the country people for hospitality.
You need not be idle, even though lying here in darkness and sorrow; you can be taking from your heart all sad and discontented feelings, and if love and patience blossom there, you will be better for the lonely hours spent here.
Why should I feel lonely? is not our planet in the Milky Way?
Sometimes, when dusk is falling, I find myself lonely--oh, so lonely! Thedora has gone out somewhere, and I sit here and think, and think, and think.
Pride, will, courage, and endurance, all these had expired in my long and lonely battle with the sea.
"I suppose," he remarked, "you are a little lonely sometimes?"
I declined to trouble him to accompany me or to make up a bed in the lonely house.
It gives me a horrible lonely, dazed, helpless feeling.