9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[meer-lee] /ˈmɪər li/
only as specified and nothing more; simply:
merely a matter of form.
  1. without admixture; purely.
  2. altogether; entirely.
Origin of merely
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English mereli. See mere1, -ly Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for merely
  • Some say the report merely confirms common sense.
  • More than merely ineffective, farm policies impose substantial harm.
  • He is merely a frugal academic, not a financial professional.
  • Photograph people being active, rather than merely posing, and take enough time to put the subject at ease.
  • Little began work on the comic in 2002 and estimates he posted merely 10 pages by the end of 2003.
  • So this time, we merely asked our kids where they liked to go the most.
  • Many of the diseases that used to kill us now merely afflict us.
  • Nor were these edits merely recommended.
  • Yet, the younger group stand sharply and definitely apart; they are not merely of a younger generation but of a different age.
  • If a dog attempts to climb up on a can while the cart is parked at the curb, the can merely spins around without upsetting.
British Dictionary definitions for merely


only; nothing more than
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for merely

mid-15c., "entirely, purely," from mere (adj.) + -ly (2). Meaning "and nothing more" is from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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