I. adjective, adverb 1. having no one else present; on one’s own[as predic. adj.] • she was alone that evening
• [as adv.]
he lives alone.
2. without others’ help or participation; single-handed[as adv.] • team members are more effective than individuals working alone
• [as predic. adj.]
they were not alone in dissenting from the advice.
3. [as adj.] — isolated and lonely • she was terribly alone and exposed.
4. [as adv.] — indicating that something is confined to the specified subject or recipient • he is answerable to Parliament alone
• it was a smile for him alone.
5. used to emphasize that only one factor out of several is being considered and that the whole is greater or more extreme • there were fifteen churches in the town centre alone.
II. phrases 1. go it alone
‹informal› act by oneself without assistance.
• they lack the knowledge and confidence to go it alone.
2. leave someone/thing alone a. abandon or desert someone or something • she was frightened because he had left her alone.
b. (also let someone/thing alone or leave/let well alone) — stop disturbing, interfering with, or trying to improve someone or something • if you see him on his way to school, just leave him alone
• she wished he would let her alone
• take my advice and leave well alone.
III. derivatives aloneness noun
– origin Middle English: from all + one.