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lonely

[lohn-lee]
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adjective, lone·li·er, lone·li·est.
  1. affected with, characterized by, or causing a depressing feeling of being alone; lonesome.
  2. destitute of sympathetic or friendly companionship, intercourse, support, etc.: a lonely exile.
  3. lone; solitary; without company; companionless.
  4. remote from places of human habitation; desolate; unfrequented; bleak: a lonely road.
  5. standing apart; isolated: a lonely tower.
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Origin of lonely

First recorded in 1600–10; lone + -ly
Related formslone·li·ly, adverblone·li·ness, lone·li·hood, nounun·lone·ly, adjective

Synonyms

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Synonym study

1. See alone.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

heartache, desolation, solitude, alienation, aloneness, withdrawal, solitariness, seclusion, remoteness, forlornness, lonesomeness

Examples from the Web for loneliness

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It's the cursed fear of loneliness and the fear of having time to think.

  • But into his loneliness and despair the girl had came like a ray of light.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • To-night—to-night, he is rocking just the same, in silence, in loneliness.

  • He felt reassured in a measure, but a sense of loneliness filled him.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • I should die of misery and fright and loneliness in this awful jungle.

    The Monster Men

    Edgar Rice Burroughs


British Dictionary definitions for loneliness

lonely

adjective -lier or -liest
  1. unhappy as a result of being without the companionship of othersa lonely man
  2. causing or resulting from the state of being alonea lonely existence
  3. isolated, unfrequented, or desolate
  4. without companions; solitary
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Derived Formsloneliness, 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

Word Origin and History for loneliness

n.

1580s, from lonely + -ness.

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lonely

adj.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper