pure·​ly | \ ˈpyu̇r-lē How to pronounce purely (audio) \

Definition of purely

1a : to a full extent : totally purely by accident
b : wholly, exclusively a selection based purely on merit
2 : without admixture of anything injurious or foreign
3 : simply, merely read purely for relaxation
4 : in a chaste or innocent manner

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Examples of purely in a Sentence

They met purely by accident. a selection based purely on merit The organization's mission, purely and simply, is to provide food to people who need it. It was purely and simply a matter of greed.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Lloyd said, going on to explain that her decision is based purely on a formula that works to keep her focused instead of worrying about whether family is having fun or feeling guilty for not spending enough time with them. Alicia Delgallo, Pro Soccer USA, "Carli Lloyd doesn’t like down time, eager for next World Cup match," 14 June 2019 This could so easily have devolved into something purely abstract and acrobatic. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: Mary-Louise Parker, Resounding in ‘The Sound Inside’," 3 July 2018 Was the Most Interesting Man in the World Selling the shoe this way certainly makes the buying process simpler in a purely transactional sense: pay $1,500 and the shoe is yours. Cam Wolf, GQ, "To Get These New Adidas Sneakers, You Just Need to Spend $1,500 on Other Clothes," 12 June 2018 They very well could be purely motivated by recruiting veterans, which would be disappointing to partisans seeking big money from what could be one of the great untapped fortunes in American politics. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "Ten big Silicon Valley money players behind this November’s U.S. midterm elections," 20 Aug. 2018 The sarlacc surprise As Luke pulls out all the stops to protect his friends from Jabba and his lackeys in Return of the Jedi, a still-blind-from-hibernation-sickness Han manages to take out the battle’s biggest threat purely by chance. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "The Top 10 Most Han Solo Moments in Star Wars History," 2 May 2018 In 1973, a Columbia psychiatrist named Myron Hofer made a crucial discovery about mothers and children purely by accident. Katherine Reynolds Lewis, The Cut, "Can Scientists Tell Me If I’m a Good Mom?," 17 Apr. 2018 But Sarri remains the favourite to succeed Conte this summer, with Blanc understood to be lined up purely as a precautionary measure. SI.com, "Chelsea Set to Turn Attentions to Laurent Blanc With Proposed Maurizio Sarri Deal Nearing Collapse," 30 May 2018 But for every part of me that loves this watch for purely aesthetic reasons, there are equal parts of me that are impressed by the manufacturing of this piece. Bloomberg.com, "Hands-On With the Most Extreme New Rolex Available Today," 27 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'purely.' 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 purely

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for purely

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for purely

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

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More Definitions for purely



English Language Learners Definition of purely

: completely or only

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More from Merriam-Webster on purely

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with purely

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for purely

Spanish Central: Translation of purely

Nglish: Translation of purely for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of purely for Arabic Speakers

Comments on purely

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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