- The definition of forlorn is something or someone with a very poor condition, or is pitifully lonely or sad.
A puppy watching his owner leave for the day is an example of a puppy that would be described asforlorn.
A man looking forlorn.
- abandoned or deserted
- lonely and sad; unhappy and neglected
- without hope; desperate
- bereft or deprived (of)
Origin of forlornMiddle English forloren ; from Old English past participle of forleosan, to lose utterly: see for- and amp; lose
- a. Abandoned, deserted, or desolate: “my high school chums &ellipsis; enjoying cider and doughnuts &ellipsis; while I was trapped up on that forlorn mountain” (Howard Frank Mosher).b. Sad or lonely, especially from being deserted or abandoned: “waved them goodbye from the door like forlorn parents waving off a honeymoon couple” (Anne Bartlett).c. Suggesting or characterized by sadness or loneliness: the forlorn whistle of a train in the night.d. Wretched or pitiful in appearance or condition: people living in forlorn shacks.
- Bereft or deprived: forlorn of all hope.
- Nearly hopeless; desperate: a forlorn acknowledgment of failure.
Origin of forlornMiddle English forloren, past participle of forlesen, to abandon, from Old English forlēosan; see leu- in Indo-European roots.
- (obsolete) Past participle of forlese
(comparative forlorner or more forlorn, superlative forlornest or most forlorn)
From Middle English forlorn, forloren, from Old English forloren (past participle of forlēosan (“to lose”)), from Proto-Germanic *fraluzanaz (“lost”), past participle of Proto-Germanic *fraleusaną (“to lose”), equivalent to for- + lorn. Cognate with Dutch verloren (“lost”), German verloren (“lost”), Swedish förlorad (“lost”). More at lese/leese, lorn.