[ fawr-lawrn ]
/ fɔrˈlɔrn /


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.

Nearby words

  1. forkedly,
  2. forkful,
  3. forklift,
  4. forklift truck,
  5. forky,
  6. forlorn hope,
  7. forlì,
  8. form,
  9. form an opinion,
  10. form class

Origin of forlorn

before 1150; Middle English foreloren (past participle of forlesen to lose completely), Old English forloren (past participle of forlēosan); cognate with Old High German firliosan (German verlieren), Gothic fraliusan. See for-, lorn

Related formsfor·lorn·ly, adverbfor·lorn·ness, nounun·for·lorn, adjective

Synonym study

2. See desolate. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for forlorn

British Dictionary definitions for forlorn


/ (fəˈlɔːn) /


miserable, wretched, or cheerless; desolate
deserted; forsaken
(postpositive foll by of) destitute; bereftforlorn of hope
desperatethe last forlorn attempt
Derived Formsforlornly, adverbforlornness, noun

Word Origin for forlorn

Old English forloren lost, from forlēosan to lose; related to Old Saxon farliosan, Gothic fraliusan, Greek luein to release

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 forlorn


Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper