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[lohn-lee] /ˈloʊn li/
adjective, lonelier, loneliest.
affected with, characterized by, or causing a depressing feeling of being alone; lonesome.
destitute of sympathetic or friendly companionship, intercourse, support, etc.:
a lonely exile.
lone; solitary; without company; companionless.
remote from places of human habitation; desolate; unfrequented; bleak:
a lonely road.
standing apart; isolated:
a lonely tower.
Origin of lonely
1600-10; lone + -ly
Related forms
lonelily, adverb
loneliness, lonelihood, noun
unlonely, adjective
1. See alone. 4. uninhabited, unpopulated. 5. secluded. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for loneliness
  • The loneliness and social isolation, if your workplace even partly filled that need, if you have no family for moral support.
  • There is the bigness of the performances and then the isolation and loneliness that follows.
  • loneliness and social isolation are the problems the elderly face in almost all countries of the world.
  • There is a new installment in the annals of loneliness.
  • He is considered fair game for all manner of theories about his mood swings, his loneliness and his craftiness.
  • His food supplies were low, and he felt emotionally thin, stressed by loneliness and the inhospitable locale.
  • And the sequence sends out wider emotional ripples befitting a work about spiritual loneliness.
  • Growing friendlessness at home will be compounded by increasing loneliness abroad.
  • His loneliness and anxiety is making him miserable and us too.
  • The image captures the loneliness of homesteads once inhabited by hopeful pioneers.
British Dictionary definitions for loneliness


adjective -lier, -liest
unhappy as a result of being without the companionship of others: a lonely man
causing or resulting from the state of being alone: a lonely existence
isolated, unfrequented, or desolate
without companions; solitary
Derived Forms
loneliness, 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
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Word Origin and History for loneliness

1580s, from lonely + -ness.



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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