1alone pronunciation: function: adjective etymology: middle english, from al all + one onedate: 13th century 1 : separated from others : isolated2 : exclusive of anyone or anything else : only lt;she alone knows whygt;3 a : considered without reference to any other lt;the children alone would eat that muchgt; b : incomparable, unique lt;alone among their contemporaries in this respectgt;— alone;ness noun synonyms alone, solitary, lonely, lonesome, lone, forlorn, desolate mean isolated from others. alone stresses the objective fact of being by oneself with slighter notion of emotional involvement than most of the remaining terms lt;everyone needs to be alone sometimesgt;. solitary may indicate isolation as a chosen course lt;glorying in the calm of her solitary lifegt; but more often it suggests sadness and a sense of loss lt;left solitary by the death of his wifegt;. lonely adds to solitary a suggestion of longing for companionship lt;felt lonely and forsakengt;. lonesome heightens the suggestion of sadness and poignancy lt;an only child often leads a lonesome lifegt;. lone may replace lonely or lonesome but typically is as objective as alone lt;a lone robin pecking at the lawngt;. forlorn stresses dejection, woe, and listlessness at separation from one held dear lt;a forlorn lost childgt;. desolate implies inconsolable grief at loss or bereavement lt;desolate after her brother's deathgt;.