Definition of alone in US English:


adjective & adverb

  • 1Having no one else present; on one's own.

    as predicative adjective ‘she was alone that evening’
    as adverb ‘he lives alone’
    • ‘Most of the time Brady joined them, but there were plenty of times for them to be together alone.’
    • ‘They'd been alone together, almost as if they were in their own private little world.’
    • ‘Did he not know that it was unsafe to walk alone in the present circumstances?’
    • ‘That sounds very much like a bribe, but Pearson insists that adults need time when they can be together alone.’
    • ‘There were a lot of opportunities for them to be alone together discussing her graduation project.’
    • ‘But it was so large I could not eat it all, and dining alone there was no-one else to assist!’
    • ‘That winter the two writers were alone together for the first time, but it was not an idyllic experience.’
    • ‘After nearly two months we were finally alone together again but he made no effort to kiss me this time.’
    • ‘In contrast to the cluttered runner up pages, the winning designs are presented alone.’
    • ‘It was the first time James and I had been together alone for over six years.’
    • ‘Do you and the missus talk about directing when you're alone together, I ask, the arched eyebrow obvious in my voice.’
    • ‘She knew her mother wouldn't approve of them spending an evening at home alone together.’
    • ‘Don't you notice the tension between the two whenever they're left alone together?’
    • ‘It was going to be up to me to see that Patty and Folsom weren't ever left alone together.’
    • ‘Once they are alone together, Harry is surprised to find himself drawn to Erica for all the right reasons.’
    • ‘After a show, when it was just the two of us alone together, he would leap up in the air three times to tell me how much he liked the work.’
    • ‘The pressure inside the container is the sum of the pressures that each gas would exert if it were present alone.’
    • ‘We hit the streets of L.A. to do nothing but shop and spend time alone together - that was the plan.’
    • ‘Even as very young children they would sit quietly alone and talk together.’
    • ‘Today was the first time we'd ever been alone together when one of your stooges wasn't listening in.’
    by oneself, on one's own, all alone, solo, lone, solitary, single, singly
    by oneself, on one's own, all alone, solo, lone, solitary, single, singly
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Without others' help or participation; single-handed.
      ‘team members are more effective than individuals working alone’
      • ‘What kind of doctors are we training who have never had to undertake a clinic unaided or cope alone with an unexpected event during surgery?’
      • ‘Neither approach alone can begin to present a complete picture of the writers involved.’
      • ‘He raised four children alone as a single father and is now an independent consultant.’
      • ‘She has merit and has achieved thigh power alone and unaided.’
      • ‘Many Alto programs can be controlled with the mouse alone independent of a keyboard.’
      • ‘He had been manning a guard post alone.’
      • ‘On a very serious note, I just don't know how single parents cope with this alone.’
      • ‘It is by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more together than we achieve alone.’
      • ‘Both women were sopranos, and we saw them sing alone and together a number of times.’
      • ‘Raising a family alone can provide a host of obstacles, so single parents are clubbing together to help each other out.’
      • ‘No one will be asked to work alone but together great things can be achieved.’
      • ‘Trudy called in desperation, but she had flown off to let Trudy face this test alone.’
      • ‘It was the work of a single individual, working alone and in secret.’
      • ‘Only candidates who secure more than 50 per cent of the votes alone must be declared elected.’
      • ‘It is for the participating individuals alone to decide what the terms of their marriage shall be.’
      • ‘They can usually purchase media on more favourable terms than a single company acting alone.’
      • ‘Why will we now have single officers on duty alone at night in prisons?’
      • ‘Both work fantastically well alone but together they're unbeatable.’
      unaided, unassisted, without help, without assistance, by one's own efforts, under one's own steam, independently, single-handedly, solo, on one's own, all alone, off one's own bat, on one's own initiative
      unaided, unassisted, without help, without assistance, by one's own efforts, under one's own steam, independently, single-handedly, solo, on one's own, all alone, off one's own bat, on one's own initiative
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2as adjective Isolated and lonely.
      ‘she was terribly alone and exposed’
      • ‘I threatened to tell her but he says he would just laugh it off and make her think it is because I am alone and lonely.’
      • ‘Reading will save me from looking too pathetically alone and friendless all day.’
      • ‘So, when El returned to the garden he found the man alone and forlorn, grieving for his departed wife.’
      • ‘It was never a good feeling to seem alone and friendless wherever you were.’
      • ‘I am working on my fears of abandonment, of being alone and unloved, of starting over and of success and failure.’
      • ‘I think being a writer you never need to feel alone or lonely ever again because it's like you've created your own world.’
      • ‘He was surrounded by his family and friends yet still felt alone and helpless.’
      • ‘Assure that unhappy little girl inside you that she is not alone and unloved.’
      • ‘I was scared and alone and had no indication of what was going on in the nursery.’
      • ‘When I am alone, in the evenings of my solitude, the presence of this other shadow makes me feel secure.’
      • ‘She looked away and her eye caught a man lounging in the corner, looking alone and forlorn.’
      • ‘I stayed awake in the dark, my eyes on the shadows, alone and lonely all night.’
      • ‘Whenever we feel particularly alone or far from God, then we are in the wilderness.’
      • ‘She was supported by a small pension and lived alone and friendless in a small rented room.’
      lonely, isolated, solitary, deserted, abandoned, forsaken, forlorn, friendless, desolate
      lonely, isolated, solitary, deserted, abandoned, forsaken, forlorn, friendless, desolate
      View synonyms
  • 2as adverb Indicating that something is confined to the specified subject or recipient.

    ‘we agreed to set up such a test for him alone’
    ‘it is Congress alone that can declare war’
    • ‘The loss to be suffered may not remain confined to this world alone but also transfer to the next world.’
    • ‘Dharmalingam observed that the call for a clean environment was not confined to this generation alone.’
    • ‘However, this facility would be provided to the new subscribers alone at present at select areas in the city.’
    • ‘It was understood that Estelle was answerable to Dorset alone.’
    • ‘The tree felling, it is sad to note, is not confined to forestlands alone.’
    • ‘This programme will not be confined to boys alone and is open to girls, too.’
    • ‘The trustee held its assets on trust for Sealark alone subject only to the powers of issue and redemption.’
    • ‘The contests were not confined to students alone, there were contests for special children too.’
    • ‘For her, progress of a student should never be confined to academics alone.’
    • ‘It is not confined to fiction alone but is open to biography, travel writing and memoirs as well.’
    • ‘During adaptation, both inducing and induced stimuli are presented to one eye alone.’
    • ‘Its motto is not confined to the school alone - it reflects the spirit of the entire Ellangowan community.’
    • ‘Most humans are selfish, and Indian cricketers alone should not be singled out.’
    • ‘The use of the letters will not be confined to organic farmers alone.’
    • ‘She flicked the ashes from her long French cigarette and smiled, addressing Loren alone.’
    • ‘As C.S. Lewis put it, in the present moment alone are we offered freedom and actuality.’
    • ‘Therefore, I don't see any reason why netball should be confined to the women alone.’
    • ‘I find in that clause alone no indication whatever that any arbitration clause in the main contract is intended to be incorporated.’
    • ‘Freedom is a condition not of the single man alone but of man in relationship to a community.’
    • ‘Maswana stressed that the officials were not confined to Bisho alone, but were found across the province.’
    only, solely, just, uniquely, exclusively
    only, solely, just, uniquely, exclusively
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Used to emphasize that only one factor out of several is being considered and that the whole is greater or more extreme.
      ‘there were fifteen churches in the town center alone’
      • ‘This reconstruction of events is something that cannot be accomplished through participant observation alone.’
      • ‘Our genes are not the product of our present environment alone, but also of all the environments our genetic ancestors experienced.’
      • ‘But that alone is not particularly edifying and so I do want to go into a little more detail.’
      • ‘This single incident alone would be enough to give him nightmares for a couple weeks.’
      • ‘On the basis of parsimony alone the single ancestor theory seems highly likely.’
      • ‘The second concerns exchange value alone; in particular, the question of how it is possible for a capitalist to make a profit.’
      • ‘The limestone bath alone costs £10,000 and is cast from a single piece of stone shipped from Turkey.’
      • ‘But to judge them on the basis of that single alone would be unjust, for the rest of the album is just as impressive.’
      • ‘These might seem sufficient reason alone for joining the single currency.’
      • ‘For this single reason alone it is a most welcome addition to Indian film literature.’
      • ‘I believe this factor alone constitutes appropriate circumstances for allowing a premium.’
      • ‘Gone are the days of single sales alone getting bands to the much coveted number one position.’
      • ‘In the UK alone, indies together account for a quarter of record sales.’
      • ‘In the last two weeks alone there has been a plethora of new albums and singles.’
      • ‘He sacked six of these in the a single season alone and appointed no fewer than 23 in his 16 years as club president.’
      • ‘What emerges of interest in a single publication is rarely the photography alone.’
      • ‘How many different stories are happening right there alone at a single given moment?’
      • ‘Don't expect cleaning solutions alone to remove large particles of hardened mortar.’
      • ‘Variability is increased in a wider region of the chromosome than expected for a single locus alone.’
      • ‘There are some cars whose names alone present a serious obstacle to the potential buyer.’


  • go it alone

    • informal Act by oneself without assistance.

      • ‘Without further ado he resigned from all positions and went it alone, collecting a wealth of frictional experiences on the way.’
      • ‘The course is aimed particularly at people who enjoy walking but lack the confidence to go it alone.’
      • ‘But the man who led England's successful bid six years ago admits he advised the Scots they would have had a better chance of winning the UEFA vote this December if they had gone it alone without the Irish.’
      • ‘There were opportunities to get better deals and other financial charges that we could shed if we went it alone.’
      • ‘She also told me that ever since I'd gone it alone in life, I'd done everything right and that even though she was merely a neighbour, she was proud of me as if I were her own.’
      • ‘They've gone it alone, when they should have assembled a whole team.’
      • ‘Mish couldn't make it for a photo expedition, so I went it alone.’
      • ‘We pretty much went it alone with the exception of a few people, and they're dropping like flies as part of the coalition.’
      • ‘At first, a teacher accompanied him until he gained enough confidence to go it alone.’
      • ‘Until that time, the upstart society had gone it alone, taking over as the city-authorized fundraising arm for the tram project.’
  • leave someone/something alone

    • 1Abandon or desert someone or something.

      • ‘They both darted down the hallway, and with that, Stevey and I were left alone together.’
      • ‘But suddenly, their laughter was stopped by a sudden thunder, and they ran, leaving the boy alone.’
      • ‘The construction of the hotel was mysteriously abandoned, and the grand building was left alone.’
      • ‘Avoid falls - never leave your baby alone on any elevated surface such as a changing table or sofa.’
      • ‘Audrey and Sid always do this - they invite the both of us along, but then go off and leave us alone…together.’
      • ‘After the truck was declared safe to leave alone, a tow truck arrived to pull the wreckage away.’
      • ‘There is a small part of me that is telling me not to leave them alone, but the majority of my head wishes to go to bed.’
      • ‘After all this activity, she is left alone for a solo that looked rather pointless, as if it had been tagged on for her benefit.’
      • ‘She wished that she hadn't left them alone in the house.’
      • ‘A tram sped away from a stop leaving a five-year-old girl alone on the platform before her mum had time to get off.’
      fail to look after, fail to care for, fail to provide for, leave alone, abandon
      View synonyms
    • 2Stop disturbing or interfering with someone or something.

      • ‘Kathy smiled and left Leah alone because she saw she had touched a chord with this conversation.’
      • ‘I knew that the only way for Leslie to leave me alone about the whole thing would be to make her feel guilty.’
      • ‘She wished she could go back and tell herself to leave that whole treasure chest alone.’
      • ‘Yep, leave them alone… if they are bothered they are liable to abandon the nest.’
      • ‘We ask the council to stop this proposal and leave the bus stop alone.’
      • ‘The only way to truly cherish an ancient monument or other historic feature is to leave it alone, avoid it, plan around it.’
      • ‘Did you think that some ancient wizard just creates the portal in some abandoned area and just leaves it alone forever?’
      • ‘Zach included me for a while, but Liz started to give me the impression I was interfering, so I left them alone.’
      • ‘We've had to stop him from coming in now because he just won't leave our customers alone.’
      • ‘So when an adult would ask me, I'd tell them one or the other and they'd smile and leave me alone.’


Middle English: from all + one.