Definition of lonely in English:



  • 1Sad because one has no friends or company.

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

    ‘a lonely country lane’
    • ‘More than anything, however, the cottages' lonely location makes them a romantic's dream.’
    • ‘I wonder what a semi would be doing out on this lonely road, then I recognize it as a stock truck.’
    • ‘This was a lonely place where foxes and raccoons were often seen in those days.’
    • ‘Even in rural farming districts, there is simply no such thing as a lonely road.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He is believed to be a car thief, who used stolen cars to take victims to lonely areas before attacking them.’
    • ‘Afterward we had one last drive around the rock before heading back to the lonely highway.’
    • ‘You can reach the mountain top and find it a desolate and lonely place.’
    • ‘They are in small groups - three per station, in lonely places, many kilometers from the nearest town.’
    • ‘Howard, not knowing what he should do, sits on a couch in the middle of this lonely street that leads nowhere.’
    • ‘Liverpool can be a lonely place on a Saturday night, and this is only Thursday morning.’
    • ‘This is a lonely place with buildings shy of one another and spaced well apart, typical of Scottish Highland villages.’
    • ‘Many of them were black and white, and they were mainly of lonely places and people.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Showgrounds will be a fairly lonely place for the remainder of the season.’
    • ‘Police have stepped up patrols and are advising women to take precautions such as walking in groups and avoiding lonely areas.’
    • ‘Western Australia is a land of open roads, of vehicle dependence and lonely highways.’
    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
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Late 16th century: from lone + -ly.