Definition of lonely in English:



  • 1Sad because one has no friends or company.

    ‘lonely old people whose families do not care for them’
    • ‘I don't want you to be lonely for the rest of your life.’
    • ‘Because of this, you can feel very lonely at times.’
    • ‘Back in September I wrote about Al, a lonely widower sitting on his front porch.’
    • ‘Living as she is was miserable and lonely with no friends or loved ones to care about her.’
    • ‘He may be in the wrong but he's old, lonely and feeling betrayed.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Even when he had his friends with him he always seemed lonely.’
    • ‘Hearing her father's voice made her incredibly lonely.’
    • ‘A lonely housewife starts up a friendship with a pet portrait painter.’
    • ‘Those handful of days were long enough to realize how lonely an old timer could truly be.’
    • ‘Olga is a lonely but spirited old woman whose children live abroad and seldom visit.’
    • ‘An old lady is a bit lonely and decides she needs a pet for company.’
    • ‘He is going to end up a lonely old man whose kids only call him on holidays because they feel like they have to.’
    • ‘I was very lonely for the rest of the night.’
    • ‘We both felt lonely not being with our parents.’
    • ‘The new girl's supposed to be lonely and have no friends for at least a month and a half.’
    • ‘Being single can make a person feel very lonely at times.’
    • ‘His death has touched something deeply in people, particularly old people who are lonely.’
    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. 1.1 Without companions; solitary.
      ‘passing long lonely hours looking on to the street’
      • ‘Arms and legs are getting goosepimply and lonely sweaters now have companions.’
      • ‘Some may opt for a very plain style with only a ladder for access and a lonely light bulb for company.’
      • ‘Once more I find myself in an empty office, without a unicycle or even a CD to help pass the lonely hours.’
      • ‘It was almost three hours later when Quinn shook himself out of his lonely thoughts.’
      • ‘Making crucial business decisions on one's own means that it can be lonely at the top.’
      • ‘If you want to compete at the Boston Marathon you have to be willing to put in the lonely hours of work.’
      • ‘For some that had travelled to the city, life became a lonely existence.’
      • ‘Once upon a time, it was lonely at the top.’
      • ‘Many slipped through the net completely and were left to fill lonely hours without money, resources and help.’
      • ‘I'm sure it must have been pretty lonely being the only Windows 3.1 user in the office.’
      • ‘Instead she spent lonely hours at home, scared that she may never hear again.’
      • ‘Read your glossy magazines and dream away the long, lonely hours with thoughts of when your chance might come.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Should you have half an hour to spare you can take a lovely lonely walk around the Dome.’
      • ‘Liz made her way onto the lonely subway car and sat quietly as it headed toward her side of town.’
      solitary, unaccompanied, alone, lone, by itself, by oneself, without companions, companionless
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  • 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.’
    • ‘Howard, not knowing what he should do, sits on a couch in the middle of this lonely street that leads nowhere.’
    • ‘They are in small groups - three per station, in lonely places, many kilometers from the nearest town.’
    • ‘The Showgrounds will be a fairly lonely place for the remainder of the season.’
    • ‘Western Australia is a land of open roads, of vehicle dependence and lonely highways.’
    • ‘I wonder what a semi would be doing out on this lonely road, then I recognize it as a stock truck.’
    • ‘He is believed to be a car thief, who used stolen cars to take victims to lonely areas before attacking them.’
    • ‘More than anything, however, the cottages' lonely location makes them a romantic's dream.’
    • ‘Police have stepped up patrols and are advising women to take precautions such as walking in groups and avoiding lonely areas.’
    • ‘Many of them were black and white, and they were mainly of lonely places and people.’
    • ‘This was a lonely place where foxes and raccoons were often seen in those days.’
    • ‘This is a lonely place with buildings shy of one another and spaced well apart, typical of Scottish Highland villages.’
    • ‘There is a distant bridge, a small harbor, and a lonely road that leads to another beach town.’
    • ‘He and his wife have shifted from the City to this lonely place just to look after the garden.’
    • ‘When a person dies, he or she is wrapped in a hammock and buried in a lonely place in the jungle on the mainland.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The beach looked rather lonely on a usually crowded Sunday afternoon.’
    • ‘Even in rural farming districts, there is simply no such thing as a lonely road.’
    • ‘The castle always felt like such a cold and lonely place when he returned.’
    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.