27 Idioms for Loneliness: Expressions of Solitude


It’s that feeling of isolation when we long for companionship and connection.

In this listicle, we will explore idioms for loneliness, decoding their meanings, and showcasing how they vividly portray the feeling of solitude.

From “feel like a lone wolf” to “echoes of solitude,” these idioms paint a poignant picture of the isolation we sometimes encounter.

idioms for loneliness

What is an idiom for loneliness?

Idioms are phrases or expressions that convey meanings beyond their literal interpretation. Idioms for loneliness often symbolize the emotions associated with being alone or feeling left out.


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Created by Dr. Julia Rossi

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Let’s delve into a list of idioms related to loneliness, along with their meanings and usage:

IdiomMeaningExample Sentence
Feel like a lone wolfTo feel isolated or apart from others.After moving to a new city, she often felt like a lone wolf without any close friends.
Sing a solo tuneTo do something alone or independently.She had to sing a solo tune when her duet partner fell ill on the day of the performance.
On your ownTo be alone or independent without assistance.When you go off to college, you’ll have to learn to live on your own.
Left out in the coldTo be excluded or abandoned, often in a social context.When she wasn’t invited to the party, she felt left out in the cold.
A fish out of waterTo feel completely out of place or uncomfortable in a particular situation.Being the only vegetarian at the barbecue, she felt like a fish out of water.
Walking on an empty roadTo feel like you’re journeying through life without companionship or support.After the breakup, he felt like he was walking on an empty road.
Lost in the crowdTo feel unnoticed or insignificant in a large group.At the bustling carnival, she often felt lost in the crowd.
Lone rangerSomeone who operates independently or without the support of others.He preferred to work as a lone ranger, tackling tasks on his own.
Deserted islandTo feel completely isolated, like being stranded on a remote island.After the disagreement, she felt like she was on a deserted island, with no one to turn to.
One’s own companyTo be content and comfortable with being alone.Some people cherish one’s own company, finding solace in solitude.
Solitary confinementTo be isolated and alone, often in a prison context.Spending weeks in solitary confinement can have a severe impact on a person’s mental health.
In a world of one’s ownTo be lost in thought or imagination, oblivious to one’s surroundings.She often gets lost in a world of her own when she’s reading a good book.
Out in the coldTo be excluded or rejected from a group or activity.When they didn’t invite him to the team dinner, he felt like he was out in the cold.
High and dryTo be left in a difficult situation without help or support.When her car broke down in the middle of nowhere, she was left high and dry.
Like a needle in a haystackExtremely difficult to find or locate.Finding a trustworthy friend in a new city can sometimes feel like finding a needle in a haystack.
Empty nestA feeling of loneliness and sadness experienced by parents when their children leave home.After her youngest child moved out for college, she experienced the empty nest syndrome.
All alone in the wildernessTo be completely isolated and on your own in a challenging situation.When their camping group got separated, she found herself all alone in the wilderness.
Ghost townA place that is deserted or lacking in activity, often due to economic decline.The once-thriving mining town had turned into a ghost town after the closure of the mines.
The loner’s cornerA place or state of being where someone prefers solitude over social interaction.He always sat in the loner’s corner of the library, away from the bustling students.
Flying soloTo do something independently or without a partner.She decided to go on the trip, flying solo and exploring new places on her own.
Lost in translationA miscommunication or misunderstanding that occurs when something is translated from one language or context to another.His jokes were often lost in translation when he spoke with people from different cultures.
Marooned on an islandTo feel isolated and stranded, like being left alone on a deserted island.After the breakup, she felt emotionally marooned on an island of heartbreak.
Cast adriftTo be left in a situation of uncertainty or vulnerability.After losing her job, she felt cast adrift, unsure of her future.
Lone sentinelSomeone who stands alone in guarding or protecting something.The lone sentinel patrolled the empty streets at night, keeping watch over the neighborhood.
Alone in the darkTo be in a situation of fear or uncertainty with no support or guidance.Facing the challenging decision, he felt like he was alone in the dark, without anyone to turn to.
Left in the lurchTo be abandoned or left in a difficult situation without assistance.When her friends canceled their plans last minute, she was left in the lurch and had to find alternative activities.
Echoes of solitudeTo experience the reverberations of loneliness and isolation.In the quiet room, she could hear the echoes of solitude, emphasizing her loneliness.

Loneliness is like a dark, empty room with no doors or windows, trapping you in a world of solitude. If you want more comparisons to describe loneliness, you can check this link: Similes for loneliness. And for a variety of metaphors related to loneliness, you can explore this link: Metaphors for loneliness.

Idioms for Loneliness

1. Feel like a lone wolf

Meaning: To feel isolated or apart from others.
In a Sentence: After moving to a new city, she often felt like a lone wolf without any close friends.

2. Sing a solo tune

Meaning: To do something alone or independently.
In a Sentence: She had to sing a solo tune when her duet partner fell ill on the day of the performance.

3. On your own

Meaning: To be alone or independent without assistance.
In a Sentence: When you go off to college, you’ll have to learn to live on your own.

4. Left out in the cold

Meaning: To be excluded or abandoned, often in a social context.
In a Sentence: When she wasn’t invited to the party, she felt left out in the cold.

5. A fish out of water

Meaning: To feel completely out of place or uncomfortable in a particular situation.
In a Sentence: Being the only vegetarian at the barbecue, she felt like a fish out of water.

6. Walking on an empty road

Meaning: To feel like you’re journeying through life without companionship or support.
In a Sentence: After the breakup, he felt like he was walking on an empty road.

7. Lost in the crowd

Meaning: To feel unnoticed or insignificant in a large group.
In a Sentence: At the bustling carnival, she often felt lost in the crowd.

8. Lone ranger

Meaning: Someone who operates independently or without the support of others.
In a Sentence: He preferred to work as a lone ranger, tackling tasks on his own.

9. Deserted island

Meaning: To feel completely isolated, like being stranded on a remote island.
In a Sentence: After the disagreement, she felt like she was on a deserted island, with no one to turn to.

10. One’s own company

Meaning: To be content and comfortable with being alone.
In a Sentence: Some people cherish one’s own company, finding solace in solitude.

11. Solitary confinement

Meaning: To be isolated and alone, often in a prison context.
In a Sentence: Spending weeks in solitary confinement can have a severe impact on a person’s mental health.

12. In a world of one’s own

Meaning: To be lost in thought or imagination, oblivious to one’s surroundings.
In a Sentence: She often gets lost in a world of her own when she’s reading a good book.

13. Out in the cold

Meaning: To be excluded or rejected from a group or activity.
In a Sentence: When they didn’t invite him to the team dinner, he felt like he was out in the cold.

14. High and dry

Meaning: To be left in a difficult situation without help or support.
In a Sentence: When her car broke down in the middle of nowhere, she was left high and dry.

15. Like a needle in a haystack

Meaning: Extremely difficult to find or locate.
In a Sentence: Finding a trustworthy friend in a new city can sometimes feel like finding a needle in a haystack.

16. Empty nest

Meaning: A feeling of loneliness and sadness experienced by parents when their children leave home.
In a Sentence: After her youngest child moved out for college, she experienced the empty nest syndrome.

17. All alone in the wilderness

Meaning: To be completely isolated and on your own in a challenging situation.
In a Sentence: When their camping group got separated, she found herself all alone in the wilderness.

18. Ghost town

Meaning: A place that is deserted or lacking in activity, often due to economic decline.
In a Sentence: The once-thriving mining town had turned into a ghost town after the closure of the mines.

19. The loner’s corner

Meaning: A place or state of being where someone prefers solitude over social interaction.
In a Sentence: He always sat in the loner’s corner of the library, away from the bustling students.

20. Flying solo

Meaning: To do something independently or without a partner.
In a Sentence: She decided to go on the trip, flying solo and exploring new places on her own.

21. Lost in translation

Meaning: A miscommunication or misunderstanding that occurs when something is translated from one language or context to another.
In a Sentence: His jokes were often lost in translation when he spoke with people from different cultures.

22. Marooned on an island

Meaning: To feel isolated and stranded, like being left alone on a deserted island.
In a Sentence: After the breakup, she felt emotionally marooned on an island of heartbreak.

23. Cast adrift

Meaning: To be left in a situation of uncertainty or vulnerability.
In a Sentence: After losing her job, she felt cast adrift, unsure of her future.

24. Lone sentinel

Meaning: Someone who stands alone in guarding or protecting something.
In a Sentence: The lone sentinel patrolled the empty streets at night, keeping watch over the neighborhood.

25. Alone in the dark

Meaning: To be in a situation of fear or uncertainty with no support or guidance.
In a Sentence: Facing the challenging decision, he felt like he was alone in the dark, without anyone to turn to.

26. Left in the lurch

Meaning: To be abandoned or left in a difficult situation without assistance.
In a Sentence: When her friends canceled their plans last minute, she was left in the lurch and had to find alternative activities.

27. Echoes of solitude

Meaning: To experience the reverberations of loneliness and isolation.
In a Sentence: In the quiet room, she could hear the echoes of solitude, emphasizing her loneliness.

Quizzes About The Idioms in The Article

Quiz 1:

Question: What does the idiom “Sing a solo tune” mean?

  1. To perform a musical solo.
  2. To do something alone or independently.
  3. To sing loudly in a group.

Answer: 2. To do something alone or independently.


Quiz 2:

Question: What does the phrase “A fish out of water” imply?

  1. Feeling comfortable in any situation.
  2. Feeling out of place or uncomfortable in a particular situation.
  3. Being a skilled swimmer.

Answer: 2. Feeling out of place or uncomfortable in a particular situation.


Quiz 3:

Question: When might someone feel “Lost in the crowd”?

  1. When they are the center of attention.
  2. When they feel unnoticed or insignificant in a large group.
  3. When they are leading a parade.

Answer: 2. When they feel unnoticed or insignificant in a large group.


Quiz 4:

Question: What is the meaning of the idiom “High and dry”?

  1. Feeling elated and cheerful.
  2. Being left in a difficult situation without help or support.
  3. Being in a high place.

Answer: 2. Being left in a difficult situation without help or support.


Quiz 5:

Question: What does “In a world of one’s own” signify?

  1. Being highly engaged in social activities.
  2. Being lost in thought or imagination, oblivious to one’s surroundings.
  3. Being focused on worldly matters.

Answer: 2. Being lost in thought or imagination, oblivious to one’s surroundings.


Quiz 6:

Question: What does the idiom “Ghost town” describe?

  1. A place that is always bustling with activity.
  2. A place that is deserted or lacking in activity, often due to economic decline.
  3. A haunted town.

Answer: 2. A place that is deserted or lacking in activity, often due to economic decline.


Quiz 7:

Question: What does “Alone in the dark” suggest?

  1. Being in a dark room.
  2. To be in a situation of fear or uncertainty with no support or guidance.
  3. To enjoy the dark.

Answer: 2. To be in a situation of fear or uncertainty with no support or guidance.


Quiz 8:

Question: What is the meaning of the idiom “Lost in translation”?

  1. Being unable to find a translated document.
  2. A miscommunication or misunderstanding that occurs when something is translated from one language or context to another.
  3. Being fluent in multiple languages.

Answer: 2. A miscommunication or misunderstanding that occurs when something is translated from one language or context to another.


Quiz 9:

Question: When might someone use the phrase “Cast adrift”?

  1. When they are comfortably settled.
  2. When they are left in a situation of uncertainty or vulnerability.
  3. When they are sailing smoothly.

Answer: 2. When they are left in a situation of uncertainty or vulnerability.


Quiz 10:

Question: What does the expression “Left in the lurch” mean?

  1. To be physically left alone in a place.
  2. To be abandoned or left in a difficult situation without assistance.
  3. To be left with a lot of money.

Answer: 2. To be abandoned or left in a difficult situation without assistance.

Conclusion

These idioms for loneliness poignantly capture the emotions associated with solitude and isolation. Whether it’s feeling like a lone wolf or being left in the lurch, these expressions vividly portray the challenges of loneliness that many of us encounter at different points in our lives.

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