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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web His decision wasn’t wholly unexpected considering Jaquez’s affinity for his teammates and coaches, not to mention the sister who will arrive on campus next fall. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 18 Apr. 2022 Once the transaction is complete, Twitter will become a private company wholly owned by Elon Musk. Brigid Kennedy, The Week, 23 Apr. 2022 Downtown, at Farmers Kitchen + Bar, guests will find one of the only restaurants in the nation that puts a direct line between the dinner plate and the fields and pastures; the enterprise is owned wholly by the Minnesota Farmer’s Union. Brandon Presser, Harper's BAZAAR, 14 Apr. 2022 The organisation is wholly dedicated to encouraging wider public interest in the work of women photographers. Rica Cerbarano, Vogue, 25 Mar. 2022 In comparison, Ultimate Dancouga is a wholly different beast, no pun intended. Ollie Barder, Forbes, 13 Apr. 2022 Ken paused for a beat, then made a wholly different point. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 8 Apr. 2022 But while its international messaging has kept many guessing as to Beijing’s true intentions, much of its domestic media coverage of Russia’s invasion tells a wholly different story. Simone Mccarthy, CNN, 10 Mar. 2022 Ellis contrasts that to a wholly different gathering with her team that changed her life. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Wholly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wholly. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for wholly


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

Kids Definition of wholly

: to the limit : completely a wholly honest person

More from Merriam-Webster on wholly

Nglish: Translation of wholly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wholly for Arabic Speakers


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