Only meaning

ōnlē
Alone of its or their kind; by itself or by themselves; sole.
adjective
7
0
Without anyone or anything else; alone.

We have only two sandwiches left.

adverb
5
0
The definition of only is alone or by itself.

An example of only used as an adjective is in the phrase "the only house left standing," which means the house is by itself.

adjective
5
2
Most suitable of all; superior or excellent.

This is the only way to cook a good steak.

adjective
3
0
Exclusively; solely.

Facts known only to us.

adverb
3
0
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Were it not that; except that.

We would have reached the summit, only the weather got bad.

conjunction
1
0
Having no siblings.

An only child.

adjective
1
0
Without others or anything further; exclusively.

My heart is hers, and hers only. The cat sat only on the mat. It kept off the sofa.

adverb
1
0
Alone in its or their superiority; best; finest.
adjective
0
0
(but) In what follows or in the end.

To meet one crisis, only to face another.

adverb
0
0
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As recently as.

Elected only last fall.

adverb
0
0
(informal) Were it not that; except that; but.

I'd have gone, only it rained.

conjunction
0
0
Alone in a category.

He is the only doctor for miles.

The only people in the stadium were the fans: no players, coaches, or officials.

Only the cat sat on the mat. The dog never did.

The only cat sat on the only mat.

adjective
0
0
Singularly superior; the best.

He is the only trombonist to recruit.

adjective
0
0
Without sibling; without a sibling of the same gender.

He is their only son, in fact, an only child.

adjective
0
0
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No more than; just.

The cat only sat on the mat. It didn't scratch it. If there were only one more ticket!

adverb
0
0
As recently as.

He left only moments ago.

adverb
0
0
Under the condition that; but.
conjunction
0
0

I would enjoy running, only I have this broken leg.

The cat sat on the mat, only the dog chased it off.

conjunction
0
0
But for the fact that; except.
conjunction
0
0
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(rare) Only child.
noun
0
0
Only is defined as no other or nothing more.

An example of only used as an adverb is in the phrase "only walking," which means doing nothing other than walking.

adverb
0
1
Only means but or except that.

An example of only used as a conjunction is in the sentence "I would have eaten that hamburger, only it was undercooked," which means "I would have eaten that hamburger, but it was undercooked."

conjunction
0
1
if only
  • would that; I wish that
    if only they would leave; if they would only try harder.
idiom
0
0
only too
  • very; exceedingly
idiom
0
0
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Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Origin of only

  • Middle English from Old English ānlīc ān one one -līc having the form of –ly1

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Old English Ç£nlÄ«Ä‹, from Germanic; corresponding to one + -ly/-like. Cognate with Swedish enlig (“unified"), and obsolete Dutch eenlijk.

    From Wiktionary