[ uh-lohn ]
See synonyms for: alonealoneness on

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.

  1. unique; unequaled; unparalleled: He is alone among his peers in devotion to duty.

  1. solitarily; solo: She prefers to live alone.

  2. only; exclusively: You alone hold the key to your happiness.

  1. without aid or help: The baby let go of the side of the crib and stood alone.

Idioms about alone

  1. leave alone. leave1 (def. 18).

  2. leave / 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.

  1. let alone. let1 (def. 16).

Origin of alone

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English al one all (in the sense “wholly”) one

synonym study For alone

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.

usage note For alone

7, 9. See leave1.

Other words for alone

Opposites for alone

Other words from alone

  • a·lone·ness, noun

Words Nearby alone Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use alone in a sentence

  • Ten minutes later, veiled and cloaked, she stepped out alone into the garden.

    Hilda Lessways | Arnold Bennett
  • The two women had no intention of bathing; they had just strolled down to the beach for a walk and to be alone and near the water.

  • When we were mounted Mac leaned over and muttered an admonitory word for Piegan's ear alone.

    Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • If Mac had been alone he would have made the post by sundown, for the Mounted Police rode picked horses, the best money could buy.

    Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • alone Orlean lay trying vainly to forget something—something that stood like a spectre before her eyes.

    The Homesteader | Oscar Micheaux

British Dictionary definitions for alone


/ (əˈləʊn) /

adjective, adverb(postpositive)
  1. apart from another or others; solitary

  2. without anyone or anything else: one man alone could lift it

  1. without equal; unique: he stands alone in the field of microbiology

  2. to the exclusion of others; only: she alone believed him

  3. leave alone, leave be, let alone or let be to refrain from annoying or interfering with

  4. leave well alone, leave well enough alone, let well alone or let well enough alone to refrain from interfering with something that is satisfactory

  5. let alone much less; not to mention: he can't afford beer, let alone whisky

Origin of alone

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with alone


see go it alone; leave someone alone; leave well enough alone; let alone.

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