alone


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.

leave well (enough) alone

To refrain from changing, disturbing, or becoming involved in something so as to avoid unintentionally causing (or worsening) problems. Primarily heard in US. To be honest, you're better off leaving well alone at this point. She's so angry that anything you say will just make things worse. Messing with the registry can cause catastrophic problems for your computer. If it isn't already totally busted, I would leave well enough alone.
See also: alone, leave, well

let well alone

To refrain from changing, disturbing, or becoming involved in something so as to avoid unintentionally causing (or worsening) problems. To be honest, you're better off letting well alone at this point. She's so angry that anything you say will just make things worse. Messing with the registry can cause catastrophic problems for your computer. If it isn't already totally busted, I would let well alone.
See also: alone, let, well

man cannot live by bread alone

In order to live a happy, fulfilling life, a person needs things like the arts, exercise, and social interactions, in addition to basic amenities like food and shelter. I think if we want to really make a difference to those struggling with poverty and homelessness, we need to think beyond simply giving out free food. After all, man cannot live by bread alone.
See also: alone, bread, cannot, live, man

leave (someone or something) alone

To not interact with or bother someone or interfere with something. Come one, she didn't do anything to you. Leave her alone. At a certain point, you have to just leave the painting alone instead of continuing to make changes to it. I know you're trying to help, but I'd really rather just be left alone right now.
See also: alone, leave

go it alone

to do something by oneself. Do you need help, or will you go it alone? I think I need a little more experience before I go it alone.
See also: alone

He travels fastest who travels alone.

Prov. It is easier to achieve your goals if you do not have a spouse, children, or other connections to consider. Jill: Don't go yet! Wait for me to get ready. Jane: But you always take at least half an hour. No wonder they always say that he travels fastest who travels alone.
See also: alone, fast, he, travel, who

Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone.

Prov. When you are happy, people will want to be around you and share your happiness, but when you are sad, people will avoid you. Nancy: When Harry and I were dating, all our friends invited us places and called to say hello. Now that we've broken up, they treat me as if I don't exist. Jane: Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone.
See also: alone, and, laugh, weep, world

Leave me alone!

Stop harassing me!; Don't bother me! John: You did it. You're the one who always does it. Bill: Leave me alone! I never did it. Fred: Let's give Bill a dunk in the pool. Bill: Leave me alone!
See also: leave

leave (someone, something, or some creature) alone

 and let (someone, something, or some creature) alone; leave (someone, something, or some creature) be; let (someone, something, or some creature) be
to stop bothering someone or something. Don't torment the cat. Leave it alone. I don't want your help. Let me alone. Don't argue about it. Let it be!
See also: alone, leave

let alone someone or something

not to mention or think of someone or something; not even to take someone or something into account. (Fixed order.) Do I have a dollar? I don't even have a dime, let alone a dollar. I didn't invite John, let alone the rest of his family.
See also: alone, let

let someone or something alone

 and leave someone or something alone; leave someone or something be
to avoid touching, bothering, or communicating with someone or something. Leave me alone. I don't want your help. Let it alone! Don't touch it! It may be hot!
See also: alone, let

let well enough alone

 and leave well enough alone
to leave things as they are (and not try to improve them). There isn't much more you can accomplish here. Why don't you just let well enough alone? This is as good as I can do. I'll stop and leave well enough alone.
See also: alone, enough, let, well

Man does not live by bread alone.

Prov. In order to survive, people need more than physical things like food and shelter.; People need mental or spiritual things like satisfaction and love. (Biblical.) Alan: I'm so miserable. Jill: How can you be miserable? You've got a good place to live, plenty to eat, nice clothes.... Alan: But man does not live by bread alone.
See also: alone, bread, does, live, man, not

go it alone

Undertake a project, trip, or responsibility without the aid or presence of others. For example, If you decide not to help, I'll just go it alone. [Mid-1800s]
See also: alone

laugh and the world laughs with you

Keep your sense of humor and people will sympathize with you, as in She's always cheerful and has dozens of friends; laugh and the world laughs with you. This expression actually is part of an ancient Latin saying that concludes, weep and the world weeps with you. The current version, with the ending weep and you weep alone (meaning "you'll get no sympathy in your sorrow"), first appeared in 1883 in Ella Wilcox's poem "Solitude." O. Henry used a slightly different version: "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and they give you the laugh" ( The Count and the Wedding Guest, 1907).
See also: and, laugh, world

leave someone alone

Also, let someone alone. Refrain from disturbing or interfering with someone. For example, She'll manage very well if you just leave her alone, or Stop teasing the dog; let him alone. [c. 1400] Also see leave one in peace; let alone; let be.
See also: alone, leave

leave well enough alone

Also, let well enough alone. Do not try to change something lest you make it worse. For example, This recipe has turned out fine in the past, so leave well enough alone. The idea behind this expression dates from ancient Greek times, specifically Aesop's fable about a fox who refused a hedgehog's offer to take out its ticks lest, by removing those that are full, other hungry ones will replace them. Put as let well alone from the early 1700s, it was first recorded as let well enough alone in 1827. Also see let sleeping dogs lie.
See also: alone, enough, leave, well

let alone

2. Not to mention, as in We have no room for another house guest, let alone an entire family. [c. 1800]
See also: alone, let

leave well alone

If you leave well alone, you do not interfere in something, because it is all right as it is and you might make it worse. He knew when to leave well alone and when to interfere. Gordon knows his business, he says, and I should just leave well alone.
See also: alone, leave, well

let alone

Not to mention; much less: "Their ancestors had been dirt poor and never saw royalty, let alone hung around with them" (Garrison Keillor).
See also: alone, let
References in classic literature ?
To his great astonishment, the door opened and Christine Daae appeared, wrapped in furs, with her face hidden in a lace veil, alone.
Sola told me that the coolness of the night, when it fell, together with the rest would doubtless revive him, and so I decided not to kill him, as was my first intention, as I had thought it cruel to leave him alone there to die of hunger and thirst.
I am the barque that chains delay: My homeward thoughts must sail alone.
I binna frighted at Adam," said Ben, "but I donna mind sayin' as I'll let 't alone at your askin', Seth.
When I was alone once more, however, with the precious case lying upon the table in front of me, I could not but think with some misgivings of the immense responsibility which it entailed upon me.
But she would not leave him alone, and urged him saying, 'If you will not eat anything, at least you might take a draught of wine; one drink counts for nothing,' and at last he allowed himself to be persuaded, and drank.
At length, looking aside to see if he has made himself intelligible, he finds that he is alone.
has no longer now but one enemy: that enemy is myself, myself alone.
Barunda had discovered that it was the girl alone this white man wanted.
Nothing could persuade the coast natives to venture farther, and Sheldon, with his four Tahitians, knew that it was madness to go on alone.
A puppy alone by the river bank meant a puppy dead or a puppy that aroused the camp with its shrill pain and terror as it fled back from the wolf-cub that had waylaid it.
As soon as I was alone, I took from my pocket one of the handbills which my excitable fellow-traveler had presented to me, so as to have it ready for Mrs.
A WAYFARING MAN, traveling in the desert, met a woman standing alone and terribly dejected.
Rose sat all alone in the big best parlor, with her little handkerchief laid ready to catch the first tear, for she was thinking of her troubles, and a shower was expected.
Let me try my luck alone, and let us see what comes of it.