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From pure +‎ -ly.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈpjɔːli/, /ˈpjʊəli/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: (UK) -ɔːli, (UK) -ʊəli


purely (comparative more purely, superlative most purely)

  1. (now US regional) Wholly; really, completely. [from 14th c.]
    • 1962, Warren Miller, Flush Times:
      I am fascinated by the entire scene, I purely am.
  2. Solely; exclusively; merely, simply. [from 14th c.]
    • 8 April 2005, Owen Bowcott, The Guardian:
      The IRA should "lead by example" and "unilaterally" abandon paramilitary violence and adopt a purely political strategy, a leading Sinn Féin MP urged yesterday.
    • 2007, Helen Brooks, His Christmas Bride:
      "But this meal tonight is not a date, not in the traditional sense. It's purely platonic, I assure you."
  3. Chastely, innocently; in a sinless manner, without fault. [from 15th c.]
  4. (now rare) Without physical adulterants; refinedly, with no admixture. [from 16th c.]
    • 1823, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Table Talk:
      By some means or other the water flows purely, and separated from the filth, in a deeper and narrower course on one side of the rock, and the refuse of the dirt and troubled water goes off on the other in a broader current [...].


Derived terms[edit]