- desolate or dreary; unhappy or miserable, as in feeling, condition, or appearance.
- lonely and sad; forsaken.
- expressive of hopelessness; despairing: forlorn glances.
- bereft; destitute: forlorn of comfort.
Origin of forlorn
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for forlornness
We had subjected ourselves to all this forlornness simply for pleasure.In the Wilderness
Charles Dudley Warner
He was obsessed by the solitary idea of his own forlornness.The Kingdom Round the Corner
The old sense of forlornness, of being alone and uncared for, returned to her.Little Lost Sister
Though one had a pity for his forlornness, there was still an admiration.The Blind Spot
"Troth, it serves me nothing," she said, with a forlornness he could not understand.Captain Ravenshaw
Robert Neilson Stephens
- miserable, wretched, or cheerless; desolate
- deserted; forsaken
- (postpositive foll by of) destitute; bereftforlorn of hope
- desperatethe last forlorn attempt
Word Origin and History for forlornness
mid-12c., forloren "disgraced, depraved," past participle of obsolete forlesan "be deprived of, lose, abandon," from Old English forleosan "to lose, abandon, let go; destroy, ruin," from for- "completely" + leosan "to lose" (see lose). In the Mercian hymns, Latin perditionis is glossed by Old English forlorenisse.
Sense of "forsaken, abandoned" is 1530s; that of "wretched, miserable" first recorded 1580s. A common Germanic compound (cf. Old Saxon farilosan, Old Frisian urliasa, Middle Dutch verliesen, Dutch verliezen, Old High German virliosan, German verlieren, Gothic fraliusan "to lose").
Commonly in forlorn hope (1570s), which is a partial translation of Dutch verloren hoop, in which hoop means "troop, band," literally "heap," and the sense of the whole phrase is of a suicide mission. The phrase is usually used incorrectly in English, and the misuse has colored the sense of forlorn. Related: Forlornly; forlornness.