From Middle English forlorn, forloren, from Old English forloren, past participle of forlēosan (“to lose”)), from Proto-Germanic *fraluzanaz (“lost”), past participle of *fraleusaną (“to lose”), equivalent to for- + lorn. Cognate with Dutch verloren (“lost”), German verloren (“lost”), Swedish förlorad (“lost”), West Frisian ferlern (“lost”). See further at lese/leese, lorn.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /fəˈlɔːn/, /fɔː-/
- (General American) IPA(key): /fɔɹˈlɔɹn/
Audio (GA) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɔː(ɹ)n
- Hyphenation: for‧lorn
- Abandoned, deserted, left behind.
1578–1579, Ed[mund] Sp[enser], “Prosopopoia. Or Mother Hubberds Tale. [...] Dedicated to the Right Honorable the Ladie Compton and Mountegle”, in Complaints. Containing Sundrie Small Poemes of the Worlds Vanitie. Whereof the Next Page Maketh Mention, London: Imprinted for VVilliam Ponsonbie, dwelling in Paules Churchyard at the signe of the Bishops head, published 1591, OCLC 84758486:
- For miſerie doth braueſt mindes abate, / And make them ſeeke for that they wont to ſcorne, / Of fortune and of hope at once forlorne.
c. 1588–1593, [William Shakespeare], The Most Lamentable Romaine Tragedie of Titus Andronicus: As It was Plaide by the Right Honourable the Earle of Darbie, Earle of Pembrooke, and Earle of Sussex Their Seruants (the First Quarto), London: Printed by Iohn Danter, and are to be sold by Edward White & Thomas Millington, at the little North doore of Paules at the signe of the Gunne, published 1594, OCLC 222241046, [Act II, scene iii]:
- Some ſay that Rauens foſter forlorne children, / The whilſt their owne birds famiſh in their neſts: / Oh be to me though thy hard hart ſay no, / Nothing ſo kinde but ſomething pittiful.
- Miserable, as when lonely after being abandoned.
1766 March, [Oliver Goldsmith], “A Ballad”, in The Vicar of Wakefield: A Tale. Supposed to be Written by Himself, volume I, Salisbury, Wiltshire: Printed by B. Collins, for F[rancis] Newbery, in Pater-Noster-Row, London, OCLC 938500648, page 70:
- For here forlorn and loſt I tread, / With fainting ſteps and ſlow; / Where wilds immeaſurably ſpread, / Seem lengthening as I go.
1857, William H[ickling] Prescott, “War with France. 1557.”, in History of the Reign of Philip the Second, King of Spain, volume I, new edition, London: G[eorge] Routledge & Co., Farringdon Street, page 125:
- The condition of the besieged, in the mean time, was forlorn in the extreme; not so much from want of food, though their supplies were scanty, as from excessive toil and exposure.
1859, Mowbray Thomson, chapter VII, in The Story of Cawnpore, London: Richard Bentley, New Burlington Street, publisher in ordinary to Her Majesty, OCLC 973229909, pages 119–120:
- Mrs. Blair had lost her husband, who was a cavalry officer, in Cabool, at the memorable Khyber Pass; but as no precise tidings of his death had every been received, she cherished the forlorn hope that he was still living in captivity among the Affghans, and that some day it would be her happiness yet to be reunited with him, even on earth.
1921, Ben Travers, A Cuckoo in the Nest, London: The Bodley Head, OCLC 150705804; republished Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1925, OCLC 9003849, page 67:
- Sophia broke down here. Even at this moment she was subconsciously comparing her rendering of the part of the forlorn bride with Miss Marie Lohr's.
- Unlikely to succeed.
- forlorne (obsolete)
- (miserable): forsaken
forlorn (plural forlorns) (military)