What does only mean?

Definitions for onlyˈoʊn li

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word only.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. lone(a), lonesome(a), only(a), sole(a), solitary(a)(adj)

    being the only one; single and isolated from others

    "the lone doctor in the entire county"; "a lonesome pine"; "an only child"; "the sole heir"; "the sole example"; "a solitary instance of cowardice"; "a solitary speck in the sky"

  2. alone(p), only(adverb)

    exclusive of anyone or anything else

    "she alone believed him"; "cannot live by bread alone"; "I'll have this car and this car only"

  3. merely, simply, just, only, but(adverb)

    and nothing more

    "I was merely asking"; "it is simply a matter of time"; "just a scratch"; "he was only a child"; "hopes that last but a moment"

  4. entirely, exclusively, solely, alone, only(adverb)

    without any others being included or involved

    "was entirely to blame"; "a school devoted entirely to the needs of problem children"; "he works for Mr. Smith exclusively"; "did it solely for money"; "the burden of proof rests on the prosecution alone"; "a privilege granted only to him"

  5. only(adverb)

    with nevertheless the final result

    "He arrived only to find his wife dead"; "We won only to lose again in the next round"

  6. only(adverb)

    in the final outcome

    "These news will only make you more upset"

  7. only(adverb)

    except that

    "It was the same story; only this time she came out better"

  8. only, only if, only when(adverb)

    never except when

    "call me only if your cold gets worse"

  9. only(adverb)

    as recently as

    "I spoke to him only an hour ago"


  1. only(Adverb)

    without others or anything further; exclusively

    my heart is hers, and hers only

  2. only(Adverb)

    no more than; just

    if there were only one more ticket!

  3. only(Adverb)

    as recently as

    he left only moments ago

  4. only(Adjective)

    Alone in a category.

  5. only(Adjective)

    Singularly superior; the best.

    He is the only trombonist to recruit.

  6. only(Adjective)

    Without sibling; without a sibling of the same gender.

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

  7. only(Adjective)


  8. only(Conjunction)

    Under the condition that; but.

  9. only(Conjunction)


    I would enjoy running, only I have this broken leg

  10. only(Conjunction)

    But for the fact that; except.

  11. Origin: ænlic, from ; corresponding to one + -ly/-like. Cognate with enlig, and obsolete eenlijk.


  1. Only

    "Only" is a song by Nine Inch Nails. It was released as the second single from Nine Inch Nails' fourth album With Teeth. "Only" reached number one on the Billboard Modern Rock chart, where it stayed for seven weeks. It is the second successful release that Nine Inch Nails has had in the UK, peaking at number 20.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Only

    ōn′li, adj. single in number or kind: this above all others: alone.—adv. in one manner: for one purpose: singly: merely: barely: entirely.—conj. but: except that.—n. On′liness. [A.S. ánlíc (adj.)—án, one, líc, like.]

Suggested Resources

  1. ONLY

    What does ONLY stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the ONLY acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'only' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #76

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'only' in Written Corpus Frequency: #137

  3. Adverbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'only' in Adverbs Frequency: #6

  4. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'only' in Adjectives Frequency: #37


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of only in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of only in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Maryam Baraka:

    It is only temporary.

  2. Barbara Stanwyck:

    Age is only a number.

  3. Madara:

    People only live once

  4. Pope Francis:

    There is only one pope.

  5. sammie puzse:

    only fools fall in love

Images & Illustrations of only

  1. onlyonlyonly

Translations for only

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • فقطArabic
  • само, единствен, единственоBulgarian
  • només, sols, solament, únic, únicamentCatalan, Valencian
  • jen, až, jenom, teprve, jedináček, jenže, pouze, jedině, jedinýCzech
  • enesteDanish
  • gerade, geschwisterlos, einzig, einzigartig, Einzelkind, nurGerman
  • μοναδικό, μόνο, μοναδική, αλλά, μοναδικός, μόνος, μόνηGreek
  • sola, nuraEsperanto
  • sólo, apenas, hijo único, solamente, único, únicamenteSpanish
  • ainusEstonian
  • فقط, تنها, تَنهاPersian
  • mutta, edes, ainut, vain, vasta, juuri, ainoa, ainutlaatuinen, jos, ainoastaan, paitsi että, sillä ehdolla, ettäFinnish
  • que, unique, seulement, sauf que, seul, mais, ne...que, uniquementFrench
  • Galician
  • רק, יָחִידHebrew
  • सिर्फ़, हीHindi
  • csak, egyetlen, kivéveHungarian
  • մինուճար, միայն, միամոր, միակArmenian
  • solmenteInterlingua
  • nuraIdo
  • solo, solamente, unicoItalian
  • だけ, しか, 唯一Japanese
  • ერთადერთიGeorgian
  • 유일한, ...만, 하나밖에 없는Korean
  • ته‌نهاKurdish
  • unicus, sōlumLatin
  • vienīgi, tikai, vienīgsLatvian
  • മാത്രംMalayalam
  • फ़क्तMarathi
  • sahaja, hanyaMalay
  • ရုံBurmese
  • pas, enig, netDutch
  • eneste, bare, einasteNorwegian
  • jedyny, tylko, najlepszy, dopieroPolish
  • somente, porém, exceto, único, todavia, mas, apenas, melhor, salvo, que, filhoPortuguese
  • sapaQuechua
  • singur, unic, numaiRomanian
  • только вот, лишь, единственный, только, единый, но, за исключением того, что, однако, всегоRussian
  • само, sámoSerbo-Croatian
  • jedinýSlovak
  • edinSlovene
  • bara, endast, endaSwedish
  • ஒரேTamil
  • ఏకైక, ఒకే, ఒక్కగానొక్కTelugu
  • sadece, yalnızca, bir tek, tekTurkish
  • єдинийUkrainian
  • صرفUrdu
  • teVolapük

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