Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


We had subjected ourselves to all this forlornness simply for pleasure.

He was obsessed by the solitary idea of his own forlornness.

The old sense of forlornness, of being alone and uncared for, returned to her.

Though one had a pity for his forlornness, there was still an admiration.

"Troth, it serves me nothing," she said, with a forlornness he could not understand.

But there were no tears in her eyes, no forlornness in her voice.

All about her seemed elastic; depression, fear, forlornness, were withdrawn.

Still her despair and forlornness weighed upon her more and more.

The forlornness of the bookcase gave a stricken air to the whole room.

They loved to be near one another that their forlornness might pain them less.


mid-12c., forloren "disgraced, depraved," past participle of obsolete forlesan "be deprived of, lose, abandon," from Old English forleosan "to lose, abandon, let go; destroy, ruin," from for- "completely" + leosan "to lose" (see lose). In the Mercian hymns, Latin perditionis is glossed by Old English forlorenisse.

Sense of "forsaken, abandoned" is 1530s; that of "wretched, miserable" first recorded 1580s. A common Germanic compound (cf. Old Saxon farilosan, Old Frisian urliasa, Middle Dutch verliesen, Dutch verliezen, Old High German virliosan, German verlieren, Gothic fraliusan "to lose").

Commonly in forlorn hope (1570s), which is a partial translation of Dutch verloren hoop, in which hoop means "troop, band," literally "heap," and the sense of the whole phrase is of a suicide mission. The phrase is usually used incorrectly in English, and the misuse has colored the sense of forlorn. Related: Forlornly; forlornness.



noununinhabitated area; barrenness
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.