English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English mereli, equivalent to mere +‎ -ly.

Pronunciation edit

Adverb edit

merely (not comparable)

  1. (focus) Without any other reason etc.; only, just, and nothing more. [from 16th c.]
  2. (obsolete) Wholly, entirely. [16th–20th c.]
    • 1644, John Milton, Areopagitica:
      It is not forgot, since the acute and distinct Arminius was perverted meerly by the perusing of a namelesse discourse writt'n at Delf, which at first he took in hand to confute.
    • 1854, Henry David Thoreau, Slavery in Massachusetts:
      I am sorry to say, that I doubt if there is a judge in Massachusetts who is prepared to resign his office, and get his living innocently, whenever it is required of him to pass sentence under a law which is merely contrary to the law of God.

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Middle English edit

Adverb edit

merely

  1. Alternative form of merily