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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

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 That account, which is now solely dedicated to Prince William and Kate Middleton, garnered an extra 200,000 followers or so after the launch of @sussexroyal. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Amassed More Than 2.6 Million Instagram Followers in Just 24 Hours," 3 Apr. 2019 Retracting journalistic work, whatever its quality, solely on the basis of offense is a terrible path to go down. Jesse Singal, Daily Intelligencer, "Business Insider Retracted a Bad Piece — and Set a Terrible Precedent," 11 July 2018 Since the space shuttle Endeavour's launch in 2011, the space agency has relied solely on Russia's Soyuz space craft to ferry astronauts and supplies into orbit. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "SpaceX's First Manned Mission to The ISS Could Come as Quickly as July," 4 Mar. 2019 Gucci deserves the biggest meme props, though, solely based on designer Alessandro Michele’s ability to stage such theatrical shows that to leave them off of Instagram would be a travesty. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Meghan Markle’s Baby Björn and Pope Rihanna: 14 Memes That Synthesized the Biggest Fashion Moments of 2018," 18 Dec. 2018 Individual responses to lead exposure vary so much that modern doctors would be hard-pressed to predict a patient’s symptoms solely based on the level of lead in their blood. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Strands of hair shed light on doomed 19th-century Arctic expedition," 30 Sep. 2018 The Top 100 charts, which are based solely on Apple Music streams, will update daily at 12AM PT. Micah Singleton, The Verge, "Apple Music is adding global charts," 7 Sep. 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.

See More

First Known Use of solely

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about solely

Dictionary Entries near solely


sole leather




solemn form


Statistics for solely

Last Updated

9 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for solely

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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 sum of money that is sent as a payment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!