Alone



separate, apart, or isolated from others:
I want to be alone.
to the exclusion of all others or all else:
One cannot live by bread alone.
unique; unequaled; unexcelled:
He is alone among his peers in devotion to duty.
solitarily; solely:
She prefers to live alone.
only; exclusively.
without aid or help:
The baby let go of the side of the crib and stood alone.
leave alone,

to allow (someone) to be by himself or herself:
Leave him alone—he wants to rest.
to refrain from annoying or interfering with:
The youngsters wouldn’t leave the dog alone, and he finally turned on them.

let alone,

to refrain from annoying or interfering with.
not to mention:
He was too tired to walk, let alone run.

let well enough alone, to be satisfied with the existing situation; refrain from attempting to change conditions:
Marriages are often destroyed by relatives who will not let well enough alone.
Contemporary Examples

Defeating it might will probably be much harder than defeating al Qaeda alone.
Why We Must Stay Reihan Salam October 7, 2009

These steps have lured some $170 billion in foreign direct investment in 2012 alone (roughly 12 percent of global flows).
Latin America’s Secret Success Story Shannon K. O’Neil July 15, 2013

Among its findings was the establishment of 363 new Patriot groups last year alone.
The Crazy Gunman Who Attacked the Pentagon John Avlon March 4, 2010

But giving both a stake in the same system will make it less likely either would feel it beneficial to jump ship and go it alone.
Unite, Don’t Divide, The Palestinians Brent E. Sasley November 19, 2012

Weiner admitted to a “deep personal failing,” even as he said he had never met any of the women, let alone had sex with them.
An Excruciating Confession from Anthony Weiner Howard Kurtz June 5, 2011

Historical Examples

Each, alone, without the other, might have achieved any success.
Sir Brook Fossbrooke, Volume II. Charles James Lever

When he came out ten minutes later Uncle Peter was waiting for him alone.
The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson

To you—you alone—I will give every guarantee that a man may give of his honor and honesty.
Tony Butler Charles James Lever

“Then I will leave you alone without compunction,” said Kate.
Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Most of the articles related to Earth alone, and he skipped them.
Victory Lester del Rey

adjective, adverb (postpositive)
apart from another or others; solitary
without anyone or anything else: one man alone could lift it
without equal; unique: he stands alone in the field of microbiology
to the exclusion of others; only: she alone believed him
leave alone, leave be, let alone, let be, to refrain from annoying or interfering with
leave well alone, leave well enough alone, let well alone, let well enough alone, to refrain from interfering with something that is satisfactory
let alone, much less; not to mention: he can’t afford beer, let alone whisky
adj., adv.

c.1300 contraction of all ane, from Old English all ana “unaccompanied, all by oneself,” from all “all, wholly” (see all) + an “one” (see one). Similar compounds are found in German (allein) and Dutch (alleen).

Related Terms

go it alone
see:

go it alone
leave someone alone
leave well enough alone
let alone

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  • Aloneness

    separate, apart, or isolated from others: I want to be alone. to the exclusion of all others or all else: One cannot live by bread alone. unique; unequaled; unexcelled: He is alone among his peers in devotion to duty. solitarily; solely: She prefers to live alone. only; exclusively. without aid or help: The baby let […]

  • Along for the ride

    along for the ride Related Terms go along for the ride Participating but not actively, as in Don’t ask me how long this job will take; I’m just along for the ride. This metaphoric term often is preceded by just to emphasize the passive role of the “passenger.” [ Mid-1900s ]



  • Along

    through, on, beside, over, or parallel to the length or direction of; from one end to the other of: to walk along a highway; to run a border along a shelf. during; in the course of: Somewhere along the way I lost my hat. in conformity or accordance with: I plan to revise the article […]

  • Along in years

    Also, on in years. Elderly, old. For example, Grandma’s along in years now and doesn’t hear too well, or Our dog is not as frisky now that he’s getting on in years. This idiom transfers the length of along (and the “onward” of on) to the passage of time. [ Late 1800s ]



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