pure·​ly | \ ˈpyu̇r-lē How to pronounce purely (audio) \

Definition of purely

1a : to a full extent : totally purely by accident
b : wholly, exclusively a selection based purely on merit
2 : without admixture of anything injurious or foreign
3 : simply, merely read purely for relaxation
4 : in a chaste or innocent manner

Examples of purely in a Sentence

They met purely by accident. a selection based purely on merit The organization's mission, purely and simply, is to provide food to people who need it. It was purely and simply a matter of greed.
Recent Examples on the Web Yet, to deny that there is a widespread problem on Britain’s railways with servicing disabled passengers, or to make out that such issues are purely systematic is simply unrealistic and myopic. Gus Alexiou, Forbes, 26 June 2022 Right now, the tool is designed purely for research and comes with caveats, including that it’s limited by a lack of age and geographic diversity in the datasets used to build it. Kasra Zarei, STAT, 18 June 2022 Such crises, with democracy’s fate left to a handful of officials, rarely resolve purely on legal or constitutional principles, even if those might later be cited as justification. New York Times, 18 June 2022 Yet a growing number of rallies have shifted from the high-risk, high-reward concept to focus solely on the latter, driven purely by joie de vivre. Viju Mathew, Robb Report, 17 June 2022 The fine aura of horror never abates, yet a final surprising twist makes Edward’s fate seem less purely demonic and something perhaps more unsettling—a kind of metamorphosis. Sam Sacks, WSJ, 17 June 2022 Although the City Girls’ music is meant to purely entertain, this speaks to a larger conversation around the racial wealth gap and how Black women fit in. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 15 June 2022 For starters, this is not a purely American problem: Canada, the United Kingdom, and other countries are facing record-high prices too. Erika Page, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 June 2022 No longer purely villainous, the character becomes more sympathetic and complex. Steve Dollar, Los Angeles Times, 14 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'purely.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of purely

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for purely

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near purely

Pure Land


pure minor scale

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Last Updated

28 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Purely.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purely. Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on purely

Nglish: Translation of purely for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of purely for Arabic Speakers


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