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Denotation vs. Connotation

merely

[meer-lee] /ˈmɪər li/
adverb
1.
only as specified and nothing more; simply:
merely a matter of form.
2.
Obsolete.
  1. without admixture; purely.
  2. altogether; entirely.
Origin of merely
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English mereli. See mere1, -ly
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for merely
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Phil could not seem to hurt them; he merely knocked them away.

    The Einstein See-Saw Miles John Breuer
  • But can the safety of the state be secured by merely excluding the vicious poor?

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • In part this antagonism of classes is merely the result of difference in manners.

    The Psychology of Nations G.E. Partridge
  • It seemed, however, that he had merely been thinking intently.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • He was not merely a big snake, I thought—he was a circus monstrosity.

    My Antonia Willa Cather
British Dictionary definitions for merely

merely

/ˈmɪəlɪ/
adverb
1.
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
adv.

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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