For*lorn" (?), a. [OE., p.p. of forlesen to lose utterly, AS. forleosan (p.p. forloren); pref. for- + leosan (in comp.) to lose; cf. D. verliezen to lose, G. verlieren, Sw. forlora, Dan. forloren, Goth. fraliusan to lose. See For-, and Lorn, a., Lose, v. t.]


Deserted abandoned; lost.

Of fortune and of hope at once forlorn. Spenser.

Some say that ravens foster forlorn children. Shak.


Destitute; helpless; in pitiful plight; wretched; miserable; almost hopeless; desperate.

For here forlorn and lost I tread. Goldsmith.

The condition of the besieged in the mean time was forlorn in the extreme. Prescott.

She cherished the forlorn hope that he was still living. Thomson.

A forlorn hope [D. verloren hoop, prop., a lost band or troop; verloren, p.p. of verliezen to lose + hoop band; akin to E. heap. See For-, and Heap.] Mil., a body of men (called in F. enfants perdus, in G. verloren posten) selected, usually from volunteers, to attempt a breach, scale the wall of a fortress, or perform other extraordinarily perilous service; also, a desperate case or enterprise.

Syn. -- Destitute, lost; abandoned; forsaken; solitary; helpless; friendless; hopeless; abject; wretched; miserable; pitiable.


© Webster 1913.

For*lorn", n.


A lost, forsaken, or solitary person.

Forced to live in Scotland a forlorn. Shak.


A forlorn hope; a vanguard.


Our forlorn of horse marched within a mile of the enemy. Oliver Cromvell.


© Webster 1913.

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