sim·​ply | \ ˈsim-plē How to pronounce simply (audio) , for sense 1 also -pə-lē\

Definition of simply

1a : without ambiguity : clearly
b : without embellishment : plainly
2a : solely, merely eats simply to keep alive simply cleaned it up and went to bed— Garrison Keillor
b : really, literally the concert was simply marvelous often used as an intensive simply crawling with geniuses— F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Examples of simply in a Sentence

Simply add water to the mix and stir. Simply click on the computer icon and follow the directions. If he continues to bother you, simply ignore him. You can order new checks simply by calling or going online. It is simply a matter of time before something goes wrong. The instructions are simply written. He lived simply on the farm. The diner is called simply “Joe's.” “Sorry, I can't help you,” he said simply. The problem, put simply, is money.
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Recent Examples on the Web

That dividend is simply a starting point for discussion, said Rep. Neal Foster, D-Nome and the committee’s co-chairman. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "At hearing, Alaskans call for compromise as Legislature remains split over the dividend," 16 July 2019 Only if everyone stays healthy, and that simply doesn’t happen in the NFL. Paul Daugherty,, "Doc's Morning Line: It's big-boy baseball season and it's OK to wonder what if, Reds fans," 16 July 2019 As a result, the giants of La Liga are keen to have a means of bringing him back to the club, whether that be via a buy-back clause or simply by lending him to the Gunners on a temporary basis., "Real Madrid Keen to Keep Dani Ceballos at Bernabeu Despite Interest From Liverpool, Arsenal & Spurs," 15 July 2019 The internet has played a big part in the recent expansion, simply by providing a platform and allowing a more diverse array of columnists to have a voice and build a following, Gottlieb says. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "Why We Love Advice Columns, According to Psychologists," 15 July 2019 During Italian Getaway Anyone can enter, simply by going to Helen Murphy,, "Amal Clooney Slams Donald Trump During London Conference: The President 'Vilifies the Media'," 12 July 2019 Was their education bettered simply by contact with white people? Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 11 July 2019 One good way to start is simply by setting up an auto-transfer system with your bank, automatically transferring money out of your checking account and into your savings account every month. Steve Strauss, USA TODAY, "How do you save for retirement when you are self-employed? Use the 10% rule," 10 July 2019 History was already being made simply by Trump's presence at the border, but then there was this stunning turn of events. Jason Parham, WIRED, "While You Were Offline: Trump Went Into North Korea," 7 July 2019

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

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

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Statistics for simply

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for simply

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

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More Definitions for simply


sim·​ply | \ ˈsim-plē How to pronounce simply (audio) \

Kids Definition of simply

1 : in a clear way The instructions are simply written.
2 : in a plain way They dressed simply.
3 : in a sincere and direct way He told the story as simply as a child would.
4 : only entry 2 sense 1, merely May I ask a question simply out of curiosity?
5 : in actual fact : really, truly The trip was simply wonderful.

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More from Merriam-Webster on simply

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with simply

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for simply

Spanish Central: Translation of simply

Nglish: Translation of simply for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of simply for Arabic Speakers

Comments on simply

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


to complain fretfully

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