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 In France, a reopening of schools is purely voluntary, as the national government has shifted decision-making power to mayors and principals. Colette Davidson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Europe’s schools face new test: Teaching safely in a pandemic," 14 May 2020 Both points have merit, and the decision is purely a personal one. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Three Things To Know Before You Buy Hummingbird Feed (Nectar)," 12 May 2020 In-person communication, like meetings, are examples of purely synchronous communication. Amir Salihefendić, Quartz at Work, "When it comes to team communication, faster isn’t always better," 7 May 2020 Cyber activities Iran engages in are purely defensive and to protect against further attacks on Iranian infrastructure. NBC News, "Facebook posts from 2012 show early Iranian attempts to manipulate U.S. politics," 7 May 2020 Many people, of course, are taking their appearances into their own hands purely out of necessity. Emma Grey Ellis, Wired, "The Psychology Behind That Tempting Quarantine Makeover," 24 Apr. 2020 Mercy, the reason people that want to do the right thing gets out of this business is every single day there is greed, discord, manipulation, and purely evil actions!! Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky lawmakers condemn 2nd Amendment threats made toward Gov. Andy Beshear," 19 Apr. 2020 Haot's original idea was to build a camera purely for livestreaming from the ground up. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "No webcam? New Mevo can fill the void and stream to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube," 16 Apr. 2020 Having gone undrafted out of Oregon State, he has been viewed purely as a developmental piece for the Spurs. Jeff Mcdonald, ExpressNews.com, "Can Drew Eubanks find a bigger role with the Spurs?," 15 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for purely

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Purely.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purely. Accessed 30 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for purely


How to pronounce purely (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of purely

: completely or only

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More from Merriam-Webster on purely

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for purely

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with purely

Spanish Central: Translation of purely

Nglish: Translation of purely for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of purely for Arabic Speakers

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