Share this entry

Share this page

alone

Line breaks: alone
Pronunciation: /əˈləʊn
 
/

Definition of alone in 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
More example sentences
  • She knew her mother wouldn't approve of them spending an evening at home alone together.
  • The pressure inside the container is the sum of the pressures that each gas would exert if it were present alone.
  • Did he not know that it was unsafe to walk alone in the present circumstances?
Synonyms
by oneself, on one's own, all alone, solo, lone, solitary, single, singly;
unescorted, without an escort, unattended, unchaperoned, partnerless, companionless;
Latinsolus
Australian/New Zealand informal on one's pat, on one's Pat Malone
1.1Without others' help or participation; single-handed: [as adverb]: team members are more effective than individuals working alone [as predicative adjective]: they were not alone in dissenting from the advice
More example sentences
  • He raised four children alone as a single father and is now an independent consultant.
  • Why will we now have single officers on duty alone at night in prisons?
  • It was the work of a single individual, working alone and in secret.
Synonyms
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
1.2 [as adjective] Isolated and lonely: she was terribly alone and exposed
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • I stayed awake in the dark, my eyes on the shadows, alone and lonely all night.
Synonyms
lonely, isolated, solitary, deserted, abandoned, forsaken, forlorn, friendless, desolate
2 [as adverb] Indicating that something is confined to the specified subject or recipient: he is answerable to Parliament alone it was a smile for him alone
More example sentences
  • The trustee held its assets on trust for Sealark alone subject only to the powers of issue and redemption.
  • Its motto is not confined to the school alone - it reflects the spirit of the entire Ellangowan community.
  • The use of the letters will not be confined to organic farmers alone.
Synonyms
only, solely, just, uniquely, exclusively;
and no one else, and nothing else, to the exclusion of everyone/everything else, no one but, nothing but
2.1Used 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 centre alone
More example sentences
  • I believe this factor alone constitutes appropriate circumstances for allowing a premium.
  • Our genes are not the product of our present environment alone, but also of all the environments our genetic ancestors experienced.
  • There are some cars whose names alone present a serious obstacle to the potential buyer.

Origin

Middle English: from all + one.

Phrases

go it alone

1
informal Act by oneself without assistance: they lack the knowledge and confidence to go it alone
More example sentences
  • The course is aimed particularly at people who enjoy walking but lack the confidence to go it alone.
  • At first, a teacher accompanied him until he gained enough confidence to go it alone.
  • Mish couldn't make it for a photo expedition, so I went it alone.

leave someone/thing alone

2
1Abandon or desert someone or something: she was frightened because he had left her alone
More example sentences
  • The construction of the hotel was mysteriously abandoned, and the grand building was left alone.
  • 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.
  • They both darted down the hallway, and with that, Stevey and I were left alone together.
2 (also let someone/thing alone or leave/let well alone) Stop disturbing, interfering with, or trying to improve someone or something: if you see him on his way to school, just leave him alone she wished he would let her alone take my advice and leave well alone
More example sentences
  • We ask the council to stop this proposal and leave the bus stop alone.
  • 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.

Derivatives

aloneness

1
noun
Example sentences
  • Both of the characters feel the terrible pain of aloneness and separateness felt also by both Linnet and Owl of the changeling stories.
  • The name of Victoria gives you a clever, quick, analytical mind, but you suffer with a great deal of self-consciousness, lack of confidence, and much aloneness because of misunderstandings.
  • I believe that what you do and what I do is very important in this country, because there are so many people who sit at home alone and don't recognize their sense of aloneness.

Definition of alone in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkʌmbəs(ə)m
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…