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Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
The ideas of a time are like the clothes of a season: they are as arbitrary, as much imposed by some superior will which is seldom explicit. They are utilitarian and political, the instruments of smooth-running government.
Wyndham Lewis
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English

Pronunciation

Etymology

Old English ǣnlīċ, from Germanic (corresponding to one + -ly/-like) . Cognate with German einlich, einzig, Swedish enlig ‘unified’, obsolete Dutch eenlijk.

Adjective

only (not comparable)

Positive
only

Comparative
not comparable

Superlative
none (absolute)

  1. singular; part of a relatively small number
    he is the only doctor for miles
  2. without sibling; without a sibling of the same gender
    he is their only son, infact, an only child
  3. singularly superior; the best

Derived terms

Usage notes

  • For what reason are the English words one and once pronounced so, while other words derived from one, like alone, only and atone, pronounced with a long o? Stressed vowels often became diphthongs over time (Latin bona → Italian buona and Spanish buena). A similar thing happened in the late Middle Ages to the English words one and once, first recorded circa 1400. The vowel sound underwent some changes, such as the pronunciation (from ōn → ōōōn → wōn → wōōn → wŏŏn → wŭn).

Translations

Adverb

only

  1. without others or anything further; exclusively
    my heart is hers, and hers only
  2. no more than; just
    if there were only one more ticket!
  3. as recently as
    he left only moments ago

Derived terms

Translations

Conjunction

only

  1. but; except
    I would enjoy running only I have this broken leg

Translations

Related terms

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