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From Middle English *alon (found in derivative alones, aloonenesse (aloneness)), from earlier Middle English al one (alone, literally all one), contracted from the Old English phrase eall āna (entirely alone, solitary, single), equivalent to al- (all) +‎ one. Cognate with Scots allane (alone), Saterland Frisian alleene (alone), West Frisian allinne (alone), Dutch alleen (alone), German Low German alleen (alone), German allein (alone), Danish alene (alone), Swedish allena (alone). More at all, one.



alone (comparative more alone, superlative most alone)

  1. By oneself, solitary.
    I can't ask for help because I am alone.
  2. Apart from, or exclusive of, others.
    Jones alone could do it.
    • Richard Bentley (1662-1742)
      God, by whose alone power and conversation we all live, and move, and have our being.
  3. Considered separately.
    • 1915, Emerson Hough, The Purchase Price, chapterI:
      “[…] it is not fair of you to bring against mankind double weapons ! Dangerous enough you are as woman alone, without bringing to your aid those gifts of mind suited to problems which men have been accustomed to arrogate to themselves.”
    • 2013 May 25, “No hiding place”, in The Economist[1], volume 407, number 8837, page 74:
      In America alone, people spent $170 billion on “direct marketing”—junk mail of both the physical and electronic varieties—last year. Yet of those who received unsolicited adverts through the post, only 3% bought anything as a result.
  4. Without equal.
    • 2013 August 23, Ian Traynor, “Rise of Europe's new autocrats”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 11, page 1:
      Hungary's leader is not alone in eastern and southern Europe, where democratically elected populist strongmen increasingly dominate, deploying the power of the state and a battery of instruments of intimidation to crush dissent, demonise opposition, tame the media and tailor the system to their ends.
  5. (obsolete) Unique; rare; matchless.

Derived termsEdit

Usage notesEdit

  • Used after what it modifies.



alone (not comparable)

  1. By oneself; apart from, or exclusive of, others; solo.
    She walked home alone.
  2. Without outside help.
    The job was too hard for me to do alone.
  3. Exclusively.
    The responsibility is theirs alone.

Usage notesEdit

  • Unlike most focusing adverbs, alone typically appears after a noun phrase.
    Only the teacher knew vs. The teacher alone knew


Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


Most common English words before 1923 in Project Gutenberg: held · help · number · #343: alone · body · point · letter




From Latin halo.


alone m (plural aloni)

  1. halo
  2. glow