Definition of forlorn adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//fəˈlɔːn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fərˈlɔːrn//
    Unhappiness, Loneliness
    jump to other results
  1. 1(of a person) appearing lonely and unhappy She looked so forlorn, standing there in the rain. See related entries: Unhappiness, Loneliness
  2. 2(of a place) not cared for and with no people in it Empty houses quickly take on a forlorn look.
  3. 3unlikely to succeed, come true, etc. She waited in the forlorn hope that he would one day come back to her. His father smiled weakly in a forlorn attempt to reassure him that everything was all right.
  4. Word OriginOld English forloren ‘depraved, morally abandoned’, past participle of forlēosan ‘lose’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch verliezen and German verlieren, and ultimately to for- and lose. Senses (1 and 2) date from the 16th cent.Extra examples The house stood forlorn and empty. A couple of forlorn tourists waited for their coach. She looked so forlorn, standing there in the pouring rain.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: forlorn