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 While many candidates have released plans on climate change that address resiliency, Buttigieg is the first to release a policy solely focused on the issue. Priscilla Thompson, NBC News, "Pete Buttigieg to unveil disaster relief plan in South Carolina," 17 Sep. 2019 Instead of solely focusing on the superior qualities of its razors, Gillette wanted to highlight its customers being their best person. Lisa Marie Segarra, Fortune, "Procter & Gamble Exec on Staying Relevant—And That Gillette Ad," 17 Sep. 2019 Experience has shown that innovation is driven by the passion and knowledge of people free to focus solely on healing and hope, without having to worry about what Wall Street thinks. Dana Brown, The New Republic, "The Case for a Public Option for the Drug Industry," 16 Sep. 2019 But Warren’s strategy of focusing solely on her ideas, and not engaging with other candidates, comes with a risk., "“The senator says she’s for Bernie, well I’m for Barack,” Biden said, before accusing Warren of failing to explain how she would pay for the massive expansion of government financing for health care.," 13 Sep. 2019 Anyone who assumes the gathering will focus solely on stopping Russian trolls or neo-Nazis should think again. Hans A. Von Spakovsky, National Review, "FEC Chair Embarks Down the High-Tech Road to Censorship," 12 Sep. 2019 Inspired by his trip to Rome, Cole has since set up Charcoal Pitch FC -- a branch of his business that will focus solely on the game. Ben Church And Thomas Collins, CNN, "Famed hip-hop photographer highlights soccer's black culture," 11 Sep. 2019 After assessing the problem and making changes to the design of the parachutes and their bags, the agency conducted another high-altitude test on August 5th, this time focusing solely on the larger canopy that deploys in the lower atmosphere. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Europe’s Mars lander parachute problems may be worse than thought," 10 Sep. 2019 For weeks, climate activists have tried to convince the Democratic National Committee to convert one of the remaining primary debates into a discussion focusing solely on global warming. Mark K. Matthews, Scientific American, "Five Things to Watch During CNN’s Climate Forum," 4 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for solely

Last Updated

24 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for solely

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

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More Definitions for solely


How to pronounce solely (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for solely

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


to engage in dissolute behavior

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