whol·​ly | \ˈhō(l)-lē \

Definition of wholly 

1 : to the full or entire extent : completely a wholly owned subsidiary

2 : to the exclusion of other things : solely a book dealing wholly with herbs

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Examples of wholly in a Sentence

She is wholly devoted to her children. An infant is wholly dependent on its mother. The claim is wholly without merit.
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Recent Examples on the Web

His father was raised Quaker, and his mother was Jewish—but neither were at all religious, and Sam had a wholly secular upbringing. Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "Ars on your lunch break: Getting high and breaking faith," 17 Oct. 2018 The production has an appealing natural finish to it, enhanced by scenes that play largely or wholly in French or Arabic. Robert Lloyd, latimes.com, "A ‘Deep State’ where even the moles have moles," 15 June 2018 What makes this version, screening daily June 13 to 19 and overseen by celluloid enthusiast Christopher Nolan, unique is its wholly authentic presentation. Jordan Cronk, The Hollywood Reporter, "Critic's Picks: A June To-Do List for Film Buffs in L.A.," 1 June 2018 Favreau's production is wholly separate from Lucas's, which would have been set in the seedy underbelly of Coruscant between the original and prequel trilogies. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "Everything We Know So Far About Star Wars "The Mandalorian"," 5 Oct. 2018 In 2014-15, the program shifted to a wholly online system, saving the agency more than $100,000 in printing and postal costs and making the system much more efficient. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Lottery-like public program offers expanded Texas hunting opportunities," 30 June 2018 The university promptly reviewed these complaints, concluding that the instructor had handled the lab incident in a wholly appropriate manner, and that her personal social media post of an old photo was not harassment under Purdue policy. Montana Couser, The Root, "Purdue Professor Proudly Posts Photo in Blackface But Faces No Consequences Because of Free ‘Speech’," 30 June 2018 The federal government is bloated, and cuts and consolidation are wholly appropriate for Education and Labor. Danielle Douglas-gabriel, Washington Post, "Merging the Labor and Education departments won’t accomplish much, say experts," 21 June 2018 And few believe that even the best field operation could wholly neutralize the surge of Democratic enthusiasm on display in recent special elections, which has some Republican strategists fearing that the House majority may be lost already. Steve Peoples, chicagotribune.com, "GOP devotes $250 million to midterm strategy: Keep House majority," 14 Apr. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wholly

Middle English hoolly, from hool whole

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Dictionary Entries near wholly

whole wheat flour







Statistics for wholly

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wholly

The first known use of wholly was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for wholly



English Language Learners Definition of wholly

: completely or fully


whol·​ly | \ˈhō-lē \

Kids Definition of wholly

: to the limit : completely a wholly honest person

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More from Merriam-Webster on wholly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wholly

Spanish Central: Translation of wholly

Nglish: Translation of wholly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wholly for Arabic Speakers

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