sole·​ly | \ ˈsō(l)-lē How to pronounce solely (audio) \

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

But Pandora isn’t focusing solely on triggering commerce in the moment, said Lizzie Widhelm, senior vice president of ad innovation at Pandora, which was acquired last month by Sirius XM Holdings Inc. Nat Ives, WSJ, "Pandora Pitches Ads Targeted to Amazon and Google Smart Speakers," 13 Mar. 2019 But this was opposed by Ireland and some Nordic countries, leading French and German finance ministers to focus solely on online advertising revenues instead. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Google’s appearance before Congress will mark a turning point for its CEO," 5 Dec. 2018 In one fell swoop, this report squashes any inclination that Markle and Middleton aren't friendly and puts the focus solely on Prince William and Prince Harry. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Breaking Down All the Rumors About Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton's Royal 'Feud'," 27 Nov. 2018 Until recently, the collection focused solely on acne-thwarting potions and (satisfying) extraction tools. Sophie Wirt, Allure, "Exclusive: Dr. Pimple Popper Launches SLMD Skincare Body Smoothing System for Keratosis Pilaris," 22 Aug. 2018 Another organized opposition group, This is Texas Freedom Force, is focused solely on relocation of the Cenotaph. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, "Officials try to avoid battle over Alamo plan," 8 July 2018 Wine critic and competition judge Mike Dunne’s selections are based solely on open and blind tastings, judging at competitions, and visits to wine regions. Mike Dunne, sacbee, "Shenandoah Valley’s newest winery Paul J. Wines recognizes the old," 4 July 2018 Granger says the industry funds solely underwrote research on cardiovascular topics and did not augment his salary. Charles Piller, Science | AAAS, "Hidden conflicts? Pharma payments to FDA advisers after drug approvals spark ethical concerns," 5 July 2018 Twyla Blackmond Larnell, assistant professor of political science at Loyola University Chicago, says Green’s run should not be viewed solely as a matter of him winning or losing. Terrell Jermaine Starr, The Root, "Chicago Activist Rides Progressive Wave in Mayor's Race," 5 July 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

23 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce solely (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on solely

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with solely

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for solely

Spanish Central: Translation of solely

Nglish: Translation of solely for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of solely for Arabic Speakers

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).


a strong desire or propensity

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