name·​ly | \ˈnām-lē \

Definition of namely 

: that is to say : to wit

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Synonyms for namely


scilicet, to wit, videlicet

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Examples of namely in a Sentence

there's always one person stuck with cleaning up the mess, namely me

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Say Her Name, a new documentary, is diving into the murky questions around Sandy's death — namely, the official ruling of suicide and the allegations of a killing and cover-up. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Sandra Bland's Family Talks Fighting for the Complete Truth in New "Say Her Name" Documentary," 3 Dec. 2018 Photo by Adrian Smith The nests of Florida ants called Formica archboldi are adorned with the carcasses of their enemies — namely, the heads of other species known as trap-jaw ants. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "High-speed video solves how Florida ants furnish their nests with their enemies’ bodies," 18 Nov. 2018 The root of Lila’s envy is Elena’s opportunity for a privilege she herself has been denied—namely the right to go on to middle school. Dorothy Rabinowitz, WSJ, "‘My Brilliant Friend’ Review: Mindful Storytelling," 15 Nov. 2018 The holy grail of alchemy was the legendary philosopher’s stone, which wasn’t a stone at all but an elusive substance that could isolate the pure essence of a material and transmute it into something else, namely gold. Meg Neal, Popular Mechanics, "The Eternal Quest for Aether, the Cosmic Stuff That Never Was," 19 Oct. 2018 The updated outfits combine classical Eastern style—namely the cheongsam, a traditional Chinese dress—with Western aesthetics, a nod to both traditional service and a global future. Condé Nast Traveler, "The Most Stylish Flight Attendant Uniforms," 15 Oct. 2018 According to Consumer Reports, mold can develop in several places in front-load washing machines: namely the detergent dispenser and the rubber gasket around the opening of the washer. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "This $20 Gadget Will Save Your Washing Machine From Mold," 12 Oct. 2018 The combat uniforms used by the Cameroonian army in such circumstances are standard combat suits, namely heavy helmets, bulletproof vests and rangers' boots. Edwin Kindzeka Moki, Fox News, "Cameroon calls video showing women shot dead propaganda," 13 July 2018 According to Gazzetta dello Sport, via Football Italia, Milan are having to now consider the sale of some of their prize player assets, namely captain Leonardo Bonucci., "AC Milan Could Be Forced to Sell Captain Leonardo Bonucci Amid Club's FFP Woes," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'namely.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of namely

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for namely

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for namely

The first known use of namely was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for namely



English Language Learners Definition of namely

—used when giving exact information about something you have already mentioned


name·​ly | \ˈnām-lē \

Kids Definition of namely

: that is to say We studied the cat family, namely, lions, tigers, and related animals.

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More from Merriam-Webster on namely

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with namely

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Spanish Central: Translation of namely

Nglish: Translation of namely for Spanish Speakers

Comments on namely

What made you want to look up namely? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having a pattern of small flowers

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