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alone

[uh-lohn]
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adjective (used predicatively)
  1. separate, apart, or isolated from others: I want to be alone.
  2. to the exclusion of all others or all else: One cannot live by bread alone.
  3. unique; unequaled; unexcelled: He is alone among his peers in devotion to duty.
adverb
  1. solitarily; solely: She prefers to live alone.
  2. only; exclusively.
  3. without aid or help: The baby let go of the side of the crib and stood alone.
Idioms
  1. leave alone,
    1. to allow (someone) to be by himself or herself: Leave him alone—he wants to rest.
    2. to refrain from annoying or interfering with: The youngsters wouldn't leave the dog alone, and he finally turned on them.
  2. let alone,
    1. to refrain from annoying or interfering with.
    2. not to mention: He was too tired to walk, let alone run.
  3. let well enough alone, to be satisfied with the existing situation; refrain from attempting to change conditions: Marriages are often destroyed by relatives who will not let well enough alone.

Origin of alone

1250–1300; Middle English al one all (wholly) one
Related formsa·lone·ness, noun

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. single, solitary; unaccompanied, unattended.

Synonym study

1. Alone, lone, lonely, lonesome all imply being without companionship or association. Alone is colorless unless reinforced by all; it then suggests solitariness or desolation: alone in the house; all alone on an island. Lone is somewhat poetic or is intended humorously: a lone sentinel. Lonely implies a sad or disquieting feeling of isolation. Lonesome connotes emotion, a longing for companionship.

Antonyms

1. accompanied.

Usage note

7, 8. See leave1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for alone

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • When he came out ten minutes later Uncle Peter was waiting for him alone.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Mauburn had gone to his room to be alone with this bitter news.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • The losses in New York City alone were said to be fifty millions.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • He assented--and being thus, in a manner, ordered up--went it alone.

  • He's too honest entirely to stale the value of a pin, let alone a carpetbag.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger


British Dictionary definitions for alone

alone

adjective, adverb (postpositive)
  1. apart from another or others; solitary
  2. without anyone or anything elseone man alone could lift it
  3. without equal; uniquehe stands alone in the field of microbiology
  4. to the exclusion of others; onlyshe alone believed him
  5. leave alone, leave be, let alone or let be to refrain from annoying or interfering with
  6. leave well alone, leave well enough alone, let well alone or let well enough alone to refrain from interfering with something that is satisfactory
  7. let alone much less; not to mentionhe can't afford beer, let alone whisky

Word Origin

Old English al one, literally: all (entirely) one
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for alone

adj., adv.

c.1300 contraction of all ane, from Old English all ana "unaccompanied, all by oneself," from all "all, wholly" (see all) + an "one" (see one). Similar compounds are found in German (allein) and Dutch (alleen).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with alone

alone

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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