[lohn-suh m]


depressed or sad because of the lack of friends, companionship, etc.; lonely: to feel lonesome.
attended with or causing such a state or feeling: a lonesome evening at home.
lonely or deserted in situation; remote, desolate, or isolated: a lonesome road.


    on/by one's lonesome, Informal. alone: She went walking by her lonesome.Also Scot., by one's lane.

Origin of lonesome

First recorded in 1640–50; lone + -some1
Related formslone·some·ly, adverblone·some·ness, noun

Synonym study

1. See alone.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lonesome

Contemporary Examples of lonesome

Historical Examples of lonesome

  • "Oh, it makes me so lonesome when you sing that way," wailed the Little Colonel.

    The Little Colonel

    Annie Fellows Johnston

  • But it must be a long, lonesome road, and the rain was coming on.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • Poor, honest Fido, how lonesome he was and how he moped about!

  • If you're careful you're safe here for the day, although you may be lonesome.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • "It's lonesome enough for any sort of a hermit," said Fenn, as he paused and looked about him.

British Dictionary definitions for lonesome



mainly US and Canadian another word for lonely


on one's lonesome or US by one's lonesome informal on one's own
Derived Formslonesomely, adverblonesomeness, 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 lonesome

1640s, from lone + -some (1). Related: Lonesomeness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper