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From Middle English lorn, loren, ilorn, iloren (past participle of lese, lesen (to lose, be deprived of; to damn, doom to perdition)),[1] from Old English loren, ġeloren, from Proto-Germanic *galuzanaz, *luzanaz, past participle of Proto-Germanic *leusaną (to lose), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *lewH- (to cut, sever; to separate; to loosen; to lose). See further at lese.



lorn (comparative more lorn, superlative most lorn)

  1. (obsolete) Doomed; lost.
  2. (archaic) Abandoned, forlorn, lonely.
    • 1579, Immeritô [pseudonym; Edmund Spenser], “Ianuarie. Aegloga Prima.”, in The Shepheardes Calender: [], London: [] Hugh Singleton, [], OCLC 606515406; republished as The Shepheardes Calender [], London: [] Iohn Wolfe for Iohn Harrison the yonger, [], 1586, OCLC 837880809, folio 2, recto:
      I loue thilke laſſe, (alas why do I loue:) / And am forlorne, (alas why am I lorne:) / Shee deignes not my good will, but doth reproue, / And of my rurall muſick holdeth ſcorne.
    • 1857, Gerald Griffin, “Addressed to a Friend”, in The Poetical and Dramatic Works of Gerald Griffin, Duffy: James Duffy 7 Wellington Quay, OCLC 6693816, stanza VII, page 159:
      Yet, trust me, Memory's warmest sighs / Are often breathed in moments lorn— / And many a feeling thought will rise / And in the bosom die unborn.
    • 1870–1874, James Thomson, “The City of Dreadful Night”, in The City of Dreadful Night and Other Poems, London: Reeves and Turner, [], published 1880, OCLC 492031197, part XIX, stanza 1, pages 47–48:
      The mighty river flowing dark and deep, / With ebb and flood from the remote sea-tides / Vague-sounding through the City's sleepless sleep, / Is named the River of the Suicides; / For night by night some lorn wretch overweary, / And shuddering from the future yet more dreary, / Within its cold secure oblivion hides.
    • 1963, Thomas Pynchon, “In which Benny Profane, a Schlemihl and Human Yo-yo, Gets to an Apocheir”, in V.: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: J. B. Lippincott & Co., OCLC 602193192; republished New York, N.Y.: Bantam Books, 1964, OCLC 924727755, page 19:
      He never found his beloved machine gun. Lorn and drained-nervous, he was fired next day.

Derived terms[edit]




  1. (obsolete) past participle of lese.


  1. ^ lẹ̄sen, v.(4)”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.