from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Being apart from others; solitary.
  • adj. Being without anyone or anything else; only.
  • adj. Considered separately from all others of the same class.
  • adj. Being without equal; unique.
  • adv. Without others: sang alone while the choir listened.
  • adv. Without help: carried the suitcases alone.
  • adv. Exclusively; only: The burden of proof rests on the prosecution alone.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. By one's self, solitary.
  • adj. Apart from, or exclusive of, others.
  • adj. Considered separately.
  • adj. Without equal.
  • adv. By one's self; apart from, or exclusive of, others; solo
  • adv. Without outside help.
  • adv. Exclusively.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Quite by one's self; apart from, or exclusive of, others; single; solitary; -- applied to a person or thing.
  • adj. Of or by itself; by themselves; without any thing more or any one else; without a sharer; only.
  • adj. Sole; only; exclusive.
  • adj. Hence; Unique; rare; matchless.
  • adv. Solely; simply; exclusively.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Apart from another or others; single or singly; solitary or solitarily; without the aid or company of another: applied to a person or thing: as, to be or remain alone; to walk alone.
  • Only; to the exclusion of other persons or things; sole or solely: as, he alone remained.
  • Without a parallel; above or beyond all others; unique.
  • Devoid; destitute.
  • In each of these examples only would now be considered better, though not alone for not only is in common use. Alone means unaccompanied: as, he stood alone. Only applies to that of which there is no other: as, an only son; adverbially, only this.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adv. without anybody else or anything else
  • adv. without any others being included or involved
  • adj. exclusive of anyone or anything else
  • adj. lacking companions or companionship
  • adj. radically distinctive and without equal
  • adj. isolated from others


Middle English : al, all; see all + one, one; see one.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From 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"). Compare also West Frisian allinne ("alone"), Dutch alleen ("alone"), German allein ("alone"), Danish alene ("alone"). More at all, one. (Wiktionary)



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