"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[loh-ner] /ˈloʊ nər/
a person who is or prefers to be alone, especially one who avoids the company of others:
He was always a loner—no one knew him well.
Origin of loner
1945-50; lone + -er1


[lohn] /loʊn/
being alone; without company or accompaniment; solitary; unaccompanied:
a lone traveler.
standing by itself or apart; isolated:
a lone house in the valley.
sole; single; only:
That company constitutes our lone competitor in the field.
without companionship; lonesome; lonely.
unmarried or widowed.
1325-75; Middle English; aphetic var of alone, used attributively
Related forms
loneness, noun
Can be confused
loan, lone.
1. See alone. 2. separate, separated, secluded. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for loner
  • Academia's an odd profession in that if you want to do research, you have to be a good loner.
  • Or maybe it was because he was an unpretentious loner.
  • Although a loner, he was not alone in the dangerous schemes he nurtured.
  • And he has succeeded partly because he is what his friends call an individualist, and others might call a loner.
  • He is a bit of a loner, and rather too prone to promote himself and his ministerial activities for his colleagues' taste.
  • He appears to be a loner and conspiracy theorist of a vaguely right-wing variety.
  • Having a family that never sees you is probably even worse than being a loner.
  • Having been a maverick in opposition, he found himself a loner in power.
  • But he is a quirky loner, running as an independent, who still allows his wild mouth to get the better of him.
  • His sense of duty has also left him as something of a loner.
British Dictionary definitions for loner


(informal) a person or animal who avoids the company of others or prefers to be alone


adjective (prenominal)
unaccompanied; solitary
single or isolated: a lone house
a literary word for lonely
unmarried or widowed
Derived Forms
loneness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from the mistaken division of alone into a lone
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for loner

"one who avoids company," 1946; see lone. Apparently first in U.S. baseball slang (earliest reference is to Ted Williams).

Ted is likable enough in spite of his obsession with his specialty. He is something of a "loner," and he refuses to pal around with his teammates in off hours, but in the clubhouse he does his share of the talking. ["Life" magazine, Sept. 23, 1946]



late 14c., "having no companion, solitary," shortening of alone (q.v.) by weakening of stress or else by misdivision of what is properly all one. The Lone Star in reference to "Texas" is first recorded 1843, from its flag. Lone wolf in the figurative sense is 1909, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for loner


  1. (also lone wolf) A person who prefers to be alone, do things alone, etc; a solitary or recluse: He became more of a ''loner,'' almost a man apart from the rest of the team/that breed of loners who wandered through the Rockies in the first half of the nineteenth century
  2. One person or thing by itself: ''Make it two and I'll be true.'' ''Here's a loner to get you started'' (1940s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for loner

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for loner

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with loner