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On"ly (?), a. [OE. only, anly, onlich, AS. anlic, i.e., onelike. See One, and Like, a.]


One alone; single; as, the only man present; his only occupation.


Alone in its class; by itself; not associated with others of the same class or kind; as, an only child.


Hence, figuratively: Alone, by reason of superiority; preeminent; chief.

"Motley's the only wear."



© Webster 1913.

On"ly (?), adv. [See Only, a.]


In one manner or degree; for one purpose alone; simply; merely; barely.

And to be loved himself, needs only to be known.



So and no otherwise; no other than; exclusively; solely; wholly.

"She being only wicked."

Beau. & Fl.

Every imagination . . . of his heart was only evil. Gen. vi. 5.


Singly; without more; as, only-begotten.


Above all others; particularly.


His most only elected mistress. Marston.


© Webster 1913.

On"ly, conj.

Save or except (that); -- an adversative used elliptically with or without that, and properly introducing a single fact or consideration.

He might have seemed some secretary or clerk . . . only that his low, flat, unadorned cap . . . indicated that he belonged to the city. Sir W. Scott.


© Webster 1913.