mid-12c., "depraved," pp. of obsolete forlesan "be deprived of, lose, abandon," from O.E. forleosan, from for- "completely" + leosan "to lose" (see lose
). In the Mercian hymns, L. perditionis is glossed by O.E. forlorenisse. Originally "forsaken, abandoned;" sense of "wretched,
miserable" first recorded 1580s. Commonly in forlorn hope (1570s), which is a partial translation of Du. verloren hoop, in which hoop means "troop, band," lit. "heap," and the sense of the whole phrase is of a suicide mission. The phrase is usually used incorrectly in Eng., and the misuse has colored the sense of forlorn. Related: Forlornly; forlornness.