whol·​ly | \ ˈhō(l)-lē How to pronounce wholly (audio) \

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 Adequate preparation isn’t about flexing, being macho, or depending wholly on a tool to keep you safe. Tyler Freel, Outdoor Life, "“Whoa Bear. Get Outta Here.” How to Talk Your Way Out of a Dangerous Wildlife Encounter," 22 Feb. 2021 After months of tweaks and overhauls — and pandemic setbacks — the March issue, which debuts online Wednesday, is wholly her own. Washington Post, "Samira Nasr, a fashion first at Harper’s Bazaar: ‘I just want to bring more people with me to the party’," 19 Feb. 2021 Backcountry South Carolina was rough and rustic, wholly unlike the coastal low country, where wealthy planters, overseeing an enslaved black population that already outnumbered white people 2-1, grew rice and long-staple cotton on vast estates. Charlotte Allen, Washington Examiner, "The ghost of John C. Calhoun," 18 Feb. 2021 As a fan of the franchise and the chemistry between Lara Jean and Peter, I was wholly invested in how this story would end. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "Not To Be That Person, But How Did Peter Kavinsky Get Into Stanford?," 17 Feb. 2021 Yes, but the state legislatures clearly don’t believe issues like data privacy, online expression and tech monopolies are wholly federal matters. Shira Ovide, New York Times, "The State House Versus Big Tech," 16 Feb. 2021 The baby is born and—improbably—survives, and Lockwood’s narrator is immediately and wholly lovestruck by this tiny creature and her runaway everything. Jordan Kisner, The Atlantic, "The Wicked Virtuosity of Patricia Lockwood," 13 Feb. 2021 These stories are wholly absent from the film adaptation. Wilfred Chan, Vulture, "What Nomadland Gets Wrong About Gig Labor," 22 Feb. 2021 Ten Republicans -- the number needed to join all 50 Senate Democrats to pass a bill -- last week proposed a $618 billion stimulus plan, which Democrats have said is wholly inadequate. Saleha Mohsin, Fortune, "Yellen says robust stimulus package could lead to full employment by 2022," 8 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for wholly

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for wholly

Last Updated

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wholly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wholly. Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for wholly



English Language Learners Definition of wholly

formal : completely or fully


whol·​ly | \ ˈhō-lē How to pronounce wholly (audio) \

Kids Definition of wholly

: to the limit : completely a wholly honest person

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Comments on wholly

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