Definition of lonely in English:



  • 1Sad because one has no friends or company.

    ‘lonely old people whose families do not care for them’
    • ‘Living as she is was miserable and lonely with no friends or loved ones to care about her.’
    • ‘Being single can make a person feel very lonely at times.’
    • ‘Even when he had his friends with him he always seemed lonely.’
    • ‘Since his arrival in September, he has been pretty lonely.’
    • ‘I'm not going to die old and lonely, never loving anyone else other than her.’
    • ‘Back in September I wrote about Al, a lonely widower sitting on his front porch.’
    • ‘I don't want you to be lonely for the rest of your life.’
    • ‘He may be in the wrong but he's old, lonely and feeling betrayed.’
    • ‘The new girl's supposed to be lonely and have no friends for at least a month and a half.’
    • ‘A lonely housewife starts up a friendship with a pet portrait painter.’
    • ‘An old lady is a bit lonely and decides she needs a pet for company.’
    • ‘I was very lonely for the rest of the night.’
    • ‘We both felt lonely not being with our parents.’
    • ‘Those handful of days were long enough to realize how lonely an old timer could truly be.’
    • ‘He is going to end up a lonely old man whose kids only call him on holidays because they feel like they have to.’
    • ‘His death has touched something deeply in people, particularly old people who are lonely.’
    • ‘Because of this, you can feel very lonely at times.’
    • ‘Olga is a lonely but spirited old woman whose children live abroad and seldom visit.’
    • ‘Hearing her father's voice made her incredibly lonely.’
    isolated, alone, all alone, friendless, companionless, without companions, without friends, with no one to turn to, outcast, forsaken, abandoned, rejected, unloved, unwanted
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Without companions; solitary.
      ‘passing long lonely hours looking on to the street’
      • ‘Should you have half an hour to spare you can take a lovely lonely walk around the Dome.’
      • ‘Arms and legs are getting goosepimply and lonely sweaters now have companions.’
      • ‘Making crucial business decisions on one's own means that it can be lonely at the top.’
      • ‘Once more I find myself in an empty office, without a unicycle or even a CD to help pass the lonely hours.’
      • ‘If you want to compete at the Boston Marathon you have to be willing to put in the lonely hours of work.’
      • ‘Some may opt for a very plain style with only a ladder for access and a lonely light bulb for company.’
      • ‘Many slipped through the net completely and were left to fill lonely hours without money, resources and help.’
      • ‘Mine is a lonely existence, because no training partner can stay with me.’
      • ‘After many hours of hunting, Ken found a lonely scallop and I found an interesting bottle.’
      • ‘Instead she spent lonely hours at home, scared that she may never hear again.’
      • ‘I'm sure it must have been pretty lonely being the only Windows 3.1 user in the office.’
      • ‘Liz made her way onto the lonely subway car and sat quietly as it headed toward her side of town.’
      • ‘It was almost three hours later when Quinn shook himself out of his lonely thoughts.’
      • ‘Once upon a time, it was lonely at the top.’
      • ‘For some that had travelled to the city, life became a lonely existence.’
      • ‘Read your glossy magazines and dream away the long, lonely hours with thoughts of when your chance might come.’
      solitary, unaccompanied, alone, lone, by itself, by oneself, without companions, companionless
      View synonyms
  • 2(of a place) unfrequented and remote.

    ‘a lonely country lane’
    • ‘Afterward we had one last drive around the rock before heading back to the lonely highway.’
    • ‘This was a lonely place where foxes and raccoons were often seen in those days.’
    • ‘You can reach the mountain top and find it a desolate and lonely place.’
    • ‘Liverpool can be a lonely place on a Saturday night, and this is only Thursday morning.’
    • ‘They are in small groups - three per station, in lonely places, many kilometers from the nearest town.’
    • ‘More than anything, however, the cottages' lonely location makes them a romantic's dream.’
    • ‘Many of them were black and white, and they were mainly of lonely places and people.’
    • ‘This is a lonely place with buildings shy of one another and spaced well apart, typical of Scottish Highland villages.’
    • ‘Howard, not knowing what he should do, sits on a couch in the middle of this lonely street that leads nowhere.’
    • ‘Even in rural farming districts, there is simply no such thing as a lonely road.’
    • ‘Western Australia is a land of open roads, of vehicle dependence and lonely highways.’
    • ‘The Showgrounds will be a fairly lonely place for the remainder of the season.’
    • ‘When a person dies, he or she is wrapped in a hammock and buried in a lonely place in the jungle on the mainland.’
    • ‘The beach looked rather lonely on a usually crowded Sunday afternoon.’
    • ‘There is a distant bridge, a small harbor, and a lonely road that leads to another beach town.’
    • ‘Police have stepped up patrols and are advising women to take precautions such as walking in groups and avoiding lonely areas.’
    • ‘The castle always felt like such a cold and lonely place when he returned.’
    • ‘He and his wife have shifted from the City to this lonely place just to look after the garden.’
    • ‘He is believed to be a car thief, who used stolen cars to take victims to lonely areas before attacking them.’
    • ‘I wonder what a semi would be doing out on this lonely road, then I recognize it as a stock truck.’
    deserted, uninhabited, unfrequented, unpopulated, desolate, barren, isolated, remote, out of the way, secluded, sequestered, off the beaten track, in the back of beyond, in the middle of nowhere, godforsaken
    View synonyms


Late 16th century: from lone + -ly.