adjective (used predicatively)
- 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.
adjective, adverb (postpositive)
- apart from another or others; solitary
- without anyone or anything elseone man alone could lift it
- without equal; uniquehe stands alone in the field of microbiology
- to the exclusion of others; onlyshe alone believed him
- leave alone, leave be, let alone or let be to refrain from annoying or interfering with
- leave well alone, leave well enough alone, let well alone or let well enough alone to refrain from interfering with something that is satisfactory
- let alone much less; not to mentionhe can’t afford beer, let alone whisky
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).
see go it alone; leave someone alone; leave well enough alone; let alone.