Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[lohn-lee] /ˈloʊn li/
adjective, lonelier, loneliest.
affected with, characterized by, or causing a depressing feeling of being alone; lonesome.
destitute of sympathetic or friendly companionship, intercourse, support, etc.:
a lonely exile.
lone; solitary; without company; companionless.
remote from places of human habitation; desolate; unfrequented; bleak:
a lonely road.
standing apart; isolated:
a lonely tower.
Origin of lonely
First recorded in 1600-10; lone + -ly
Related forms
lonelily, adverb
loneliness, lonelihood, noun
unlonely, adjective
4. uninhabited, unpopulated. 5. secluded.
Synonym Study
1. See alone. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for lonely
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I think it is because she has been so lonely all her life," suggested Farr.

    The Landloper Holman Day
  • She is puzzled; she is lonely; she has no one to direct her conscience.

    Sara Crewe Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • She told him one day how lonely she was for women's companionship.

    Why Joan? Eleanor Mercein Kelly
  • It was quite dark where they were, apparently surrounded by a lonely woods.

    A Prisoner of Morro Upton Sinclair
  • The latter had surprised her husband and the Irish governess, tête-à-tête in the lonely pavilion, late in the evening.

    The Key to the Bront Works John Malham-Dembleby
British Dictionary definitions for lonely


adjective -lier, -liest
unhappy as a result of being without the companionship of others: a lonely man
causing or resulting from the state of being alone: a lonely existence
isolated, unfrequented, or desolate
without companions; solitary
Derived Forms
loneliness, noun
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for lonely

c.1600, "solitary, lone," from lone + -ly (1). Meaning "dejected for want of company" is from 1811. Lonely heart (n.) "a lonely-hearted person" is from 1922. Lonely hearted (adj.) is attested from 1820.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for lonely

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for lonely

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for lonely