From Middle English allone, 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”), Low German alleen (“alone”), German allein (“alone”), Danish alene (“alone”), Swedish allena (“alone”). More at all, one.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /əˈləʊn/
- (General American) IPA(key): /əˈloʊn/, enPR: ə-lōnʹ
- (Hong Kong) IPA(key): /ɐˈluŋ/
Audio (US) (file) Audio (UK) (file) Audio (file)
- Rhymes: -əʊn
- Hyphenation: a‧lone
- one and once are pronounced differently from the related words alone, only and atone. Stressed vowels often become diphthongs over time (Latin bona → Italian buona and Spanish buena), and this happened in the late Middle Ages to the words one and once, first recorded ca 1400: the vowel underwent some changes, from ōn → ōōōn → wōn → wōōn → wŏŏn → wŭn.
- By oneself, solitary.
- I can't ask for help because I am alone.
- Apart from, or exclusive of, others.
- Jones alone could do it.
- Considered separately.
- 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314, page 0029:
- “[…] 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, 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.
- 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.
- (obsolete) Unique; rare; matchless.
- Used after what it modifies.
alone (not comparable)
- By oneself; apart from, or exclusive of, others; solo.
- Without outside help.
- Unlike most focusing adverbs, alone typically appears after a noun phrase.
- Only the teacher knew vs. The teacher alone knew
- 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.