merely

adverb
mere·​ly | \ ˈmir-lē How to pronounce merely (audio) \

Definition of merely

: nothing more than : only was merely trying to help … no boy wanted to be on record as considering a girl a major fox only to discover that she considered him merely cool.— Richard Russo Not merely decorative, the crisscrossing slats and fins variously filter light and provide privacy.— Rob Haskell Many merely desire a pleasant afternoon perusing the exhibitions in their local gallery.— Launt Thompson Many of the deep-sea fishes, for example, have pathetically weak skeletons and terribly flabby bodies—in extreme cases they are the consistency of gelatin and seem to be composed merely of mouth and stomach.— Tim Flannery … because of technology what in the past would have taken days took merely hours.— Lee Child

First Known Use of merely

circa 1580, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About merely

Time Traveler for merely

Time Traveler

The first known use of merely was circa 1580

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near merely

merels

merely

merengue

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for merely

Cite this Entry

“Merely.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/merely. Accessed 4 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for merely

merely

adverb
mere·​ly | \ ˈmir-lē \

Kids Definition of merely

: nothing else than : just It was merely a suggestion.

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!