[ fawr-lawrn ]
See synonyms for: forlornforlornlyforlornness on

  1. desolate or dreary; unhappy or miserable, as in feeling, condition, or appearance.

  2. lonely and sad; forsaken.

  1. expressive of hopelessness; despairing: forlorn glances.

  2. bereft; destitute: forlorn of comfort.

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

synonym study For forlorn

2. See desolate.

Other words for forlorn

Opposites for forlorn

Other words from forlorn

  • for·lorn·ly, adverb
  • for·lorn·ness, noun
  • un·for·lorn, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use forlorn in a sentence

  • "I'm afeared, then, I won't be able to claim that there money," he said forlornly.

    From Place to Place | Irvin S. Cobb
  • "She didna see me," said Hendry, sitting down forlornly on the table.

    A Window in Thrums | J. M. Barrie
  • Margaret knew it all; she read it in Boucher's face, forlornly desperate and livid with rage.

    North and South | Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
  • It yeas cold and chilly, and they forlornly set out in search of some sort of a conveyance.

British Dictionary definitions for forlorn


/ (fəˈlɔːn) /

  1. miserable, wretched, or cheerless; desolate

  2. deserted; forsaken

  1. (postpositive foll by of) destitute; bereft: forlorn of hope

  2. desperate: the last forlorn attempt

Origin of forlorn

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

Derived forms of forlorn

  • forlornly, adverb
  • forlornness, 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