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

But even if the RealImpact system works, its opacity is a real concern which places the potentially valuable details of this public good solely in the hands of a private for-profit company. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "AccuWeather Unveils Its Own Hurricane Scale," 14 Jan. 2019 Euroskepticism is failing because its leading exponents view Europe’s problems solely in distributional terms—a question of how best to divvy up a static economic pie. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "EU Politicians Are the Worst, Except All the Others," 20 Dec. 2018 With the levers of state power again solely in his hands, Hun Sen began to master electoral democracy with Machiavellian skill. Fox News, "Hun Sen plays hardball to keep his grip on Cambodia," 31 July 2018 Whether the service will be based solely in the US, or would expand elsewhere still hasn’t been announced — and Zaslav didn’t hint at when the launch would happen. Shoshana Wodinsky, The Verge, "Discovery might bundle HGTV, the Food Network, and more into a new streaming service," 27 July 2018 The upstart basketball league isn't measuring its season-one success solely in numbers. Rick Maese,, "He quit a State Department job to play video games. Now he's a star in NBA's 2K League.," 9 July 2018 Perch, which was founded in 2017 in New York, launched its service solely in San Antonio because of the healthy real estate market and after conducting research showing demand for such a website here, DeGisi said. Richard Webner, San Antonio Express-News, "Tech companies promise more convenience in San Antonio’s housing market," 22 June 2018 Davenport lives solely in Polk; Four Corners (also known as Citrus Ridge) gets its name from boundaries that create a convergence of Polk, Lake, Osceola and Orange counties. A.d. Thompson,, "Davenport/Four Corners Neighborhood Guide," 21 June 2018 Assessed solely in all-electric mode, the car indeed is a doppelganger for the forthcoming XXX, down to its 911-inspired silhouette. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, "Porsche's latest Panamera offers a tantalizing peek at the coming Taycan electric sedan," 8 June 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

14 Feb 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 \

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

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