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



    BrE BrE//ˈləʊnli//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈloʊnli//
    (lonelier, loneliest) Unhappiness, Loneliness
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  1. 1  unhappy because you have no friends or people to talk to She lives alone and often feels lonely. As I didn't speak the language I grew lonelier and lonelier. See related entries: Unhappiness
  2. 2  (of a situation or period of time) sad and spent alone all those lonely nights at home watching TV See related entries: Loneliness
  3. 3  [only before noun] (of places) where only a few people ever come or visit synonym isolated a lonely beach Which Word?alone / lonely / lone Alone, and on your own/by yourself (which are less formal and are the normal phrases used in spoken English), describe a person or thing that is separate from others. They do not mean that the person is unhappy:I like being alone in the house. I’m going to London by myself next week. I want to finish this on my own (= without anyone’s help). Lone/​solitary/​single mean that there is only one person or thing there; lone and solitary may sometimes suggest that the speaker thinks the person involved is lonely:a lone jogger in the park long, solitary walks Lonely (North American English also lonesome) means that you are alone and sad:a lonely child Sam was very lonely when he first moved to New York. It can also describe places or activities that make you feel lonely:a lonely house
  4. Word Originlate 16th cent.: from lone + -ly.Extra examples It gets pretty lonely here in winter. She felt oddly lonely without her books. She was desperately lonely at school. As I didn’t speak the language I grew lonelier and lonelier. He thought back to all those lonely nights at home watching TV. The support they give to lonely old people is invaluable. There are times when I feel very lonely.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: lonely