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alone

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Etymology

Contracted from Old English all (all) and ana, from an (one).

Pronunciation

Adjective

alone (comparative {{{1}}}, superlative {{{2}}})

Positive
alone

Comparative
{{{1}}}

Superlative
{{{2}}}

  1. By one's self; apart from, or exclusive of, others; single; solo; solitary;—applied to a person or thing.
    • I can't ask for help because I am alone. That is, “I am alone” means nobody else is near.

Adverb

alone (not comparable)

Positive
alone

Comparative
not comparable

Superlative
none (absolute)

  1. By one's self; apart from, or exclusive of, others; solo
    She walked home alone.
  2. Without outside help; singlehandedly
    • The job was to hard for me to do alone.
  3. Of or by itself; by themselves; without any thing more or any one else; without a sharer; only.
    • Man shall not live by bread alone. —Luke iv. 4. Here, “bread alone” means bread and nothing else.
  4. Unique; without peer or equal:
    • Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare. -- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Synonyms

Usage notes

  • For what reason are the English words one and once pronounced so, while other words derived from one, like alone, only and atone, pronounced with a long o? Stressed vowels often became diphthongs over time (Latin bona → Italian buona and Spanish buena). A similar thing happened in the late Middle Ages to the English words one and once, first recorded circa 1400. The vowel sound underwent some changes, such as the pronunciation (from ōn → ōōōn → wōn → wōōn → wŏŏn → wŭn).
  • Unlike most focusing adverbs, alone typically appears after a noun phrase.
  • Only the teacher knew vs. The teacher alone knew

Derived terms

Translations


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 Help:How to check translations.

Italian

Etymology

Latin halo

Noun

alone m. (plural aloni)

  1. halo
  2. glow

Elsewhere on the web

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