sole·​ly | \ˈsō(l)-lē \

Definition of solely 

1 : to the exclusion of all else done solely for money

2 : without another : singly went solely on her way

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Examples of solely in a Sentence

His rank was based solely on merit. You will be held solely responsible for any damage. She did not write solely for money.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The views and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employers or their affiliates. Ronald S. Litman,, "Should I worry about my child being allergic to anesthesia?," 9 July 2018 Nashotah House sold the land to Gehl in 2016 as the seminary shifted its focus solely to education. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Gehl Farms threatens to sell nearly 400 acres in Nashotah and Delafield after municipalities change manure spreading laws," 25 June 2018 No longer would women be relegated solely to domestic tasks. Anne Tschida, miamiherald, "The Power of Propaganda," 22 June 2018 The second lawmaker also said the FBI's questioning suggested investigators' interest is not limited solely to possible threats and bribes, although that was one focus. Rebecca Berg, CNN, "FBI agents asking Missouri lawmakers about tactics by Greitens associates," 21 May 2018 But the ruling was limited solely to costs charged to Joki's grandson — and the judge did not order the West Ada district to stop charging fees for classes or kindergarten programs. Ruth Brown, idahostatesman, "Lawsuit asks Idaho schools to repay the student fees they charged your child | Idaho Statesman," 21 May 2018 The vehicles will need to travel up to 100 kilometers on a single battery charge and come equipped with four sets of electric-powered propellers dedicated solely to takeoff and landing. Larry Greenemeier, Scientific American, "Here's What's Needed for Self-Flying Taxis and Delivery Drones to Really Take Off," 15 May 2018 One Facebook group dedicated solely to Holes started two weeks ago and has earned 300 members. Anita Chabria, sacbee, "'He's just a babe': Detective in East Area Rapist case has become an unlikely sex symbol | The Sacramento Bee," 9 May 2018 Democratic conduct is not uniformly noble, by any stretch of the imagination, nor are Democratic voters devoted solely to principle, but there is nothing close to symmetry, nothing like the galloping radicalism of 21st-century conservatism. David Roberts, Vox, "The choice for Never Trumpers is obvious, but not easy," 24 Apr. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Dictionary Entries near solely


sole leather




solemn form


Statistics for solely

Last Updated

24 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for solely

The first known use of solely was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for solely



English Language Learners Definition of solely

: without anything or anyone else involved

: only or just


sole·​ly | \ˈsōl-lē \

Kids Definition of solely

1 : without another involved : alone The decision is solely yours.

2 : only entry 2 sense 2 Sort the blocks solely by color.

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Comments on solely

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


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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