alone

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English allone, from earlier all oon (alone, literally all one), contracted from the Old English phrase eall ān (entirely alone, solitary, single), equivalent to al- (all) +‎ one. Cognate with Scots alane (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 and one. Regarding the different phonological development of alone and one, see the note in one.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

alone (comparative more alone, superlative most alone)

  1. By oneself, solitary.
    I can't ask for help because I am alone.
  2. (predicatively, chiefly in the negative) Lacking peers who share one's beliefs, practices, etc.
    Senator Craddock wants to abolish the estate tax, and she's not alone.
    I always organize my Halloween candy before eating it. Am I alone in this?
    • 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.
  3. (obsolete) Apart from, or exclusive of, others.
    • 1662, Jacques Olivier, Richard Banke, transl., A Discourse of Women, Shewing Their Imperfections Alphabetically, OCLC 14507264, page 18:
      There are proofs enough in History, and first that beautiful Hynes, so much beloved by Charles the seventh King of France, who valued the alone possession of her Love at so high a rate, that []
    • 1692, Richard Bentley, [A Confutation of Atheism] (please specify the sermon), London: [Thomas Parkhurst; Henry Mortlock], published 1692–1693:
      God, [] by whose alone power and conversation we all live, and move, and have our being.
  4. (obsolete) Mere; consisting of nothing further.
    • 1676, Robert Barclay, An Apology for the True Christian Divinity [] [1]:
      and therefore all Killing, Banishing, Fining, Imprisoning, and other such things, which Men are afflicted with, for the alone exercise of their Conscience, or difference in Worship or Opinion, proceedeth from the spirit of Cain, the Murderer, and is contrary to the Truth;
  5. (obsolete) Unique; rare; matchless.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Adverb[edit]

alone (not comparable)

  1. By oneself; apart from, or exclusive of, others; solo.
    Synonyms: by one's lonesome, solitarily, solo; see also Thesaurus:solitarily
    She walked home alone.
  2. Without outside help.
    Synonyms: by oneself, by one's lonesome, singlehandedly; see also Thesaurus:by oneself
    The job was too hard for me to do alone.
  3. Focus adverb, typically modifying a noun and occurring immediately after it.
    1. Not permitting anything further; exclusively.
      Synonyms: entirely, solely; see also Thesaurus:solely
      The president alone has the power to initiate a nuclear launch.
    2. Not requiring anything further; merely
      Oral antibiotics alone won't clear the infection.
      • 1871, John Stuart Mill, Principles of Political Economy[3]:
        Except on matters of mere detail, there are perhaps no practical questions, even among those which approach nearest to the character of purely economical questions, which admit of being decided on economical premises alone.
      • 1903, Arthur M. Winfield, The Rover Boys on Land and Sea[4]:
        In writing this tale I had in mind not alone to please my young readers, but also to give them a fair picture of life on the ocean as it is to-day,
    3. (by extension) Used to emphasize the size or extent of something by selecting a subset.
      Her wardrobe is huge. She has three racks for blazers alone.
      The first sentence alone sold me on the book.
      • 1897, The Romance of Isabel, Lady Burton[5]:
        In the first place, though Lady Burton published comparatively little, she was a voluminous writer, and she left behind her such a mass of letters and manuscripts that the sorting of them alone was a formidable task.
      • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314:
        “[…] 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[6], 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.

Usage notes[edit]

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

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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.

Anagrams[edit]


Italian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin halo.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

alone m (plural aloni)

  1. halo
  2. glow

Anagrams[edit]