only

Definitions

  • She a-offerin' to light up the world, if she only had a place to stand up on
    She a-offerin' to light up the world, if she only had a place to stand up on
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj only exclusive of anyone or anything else "she alone believed him","cannot live by bread alone","I'll have this car and this car only"
    • adj only being the only one; single and isolated from others "the lone doctor in the entire county","a lonesome pine","an only child","the sole heir","the sole example","a solitary instance of cowardice","a solitary speck in the sky"
    • adv only and nothing more "I was merely asking","it is simply a matter of time","just a scratch","he was only a child","hopes that last but a moment"
    • adv only without any others being included or involved "was entirely to blame","a school devoted entirely to the needs of problem children","he works for Mr. Smith exclusively","did it solely for money","the burden of proof rests on the prosecution alone","a privilege granted only to him"
    • adv only with nevertheless the final result "He arrived only to find his wife dead","We won only to lose again in the next round"
    • adv only in the final outcome "These news will only make you more upset"
    • adv only as recently as "I spoke to him only an hour ago"
    • adv only except that; only this time she came out better" "It was the same story"
    • adv only never except when "call me only if your cold gets worse"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

"But it is so stylish, Samantha, and it only costs ten cents." "But it is so stylish, Samantha, and it only costs ten cents."
shorty if We--only Git--out O' This--' 203 shorty if We--only Git--out O' This--' 203
Note the makers’ marks or seals on the wineglass fragments. Only a few English wineglasses bearing 17th-century makers’ seals have been found in America Note the makers’ marks or seals on the wineglass fragments. Only a few English wineglasses bearing 17th-century...
THE ONLY THING WAYNE WAS AFRAID OF THE ONLY THING WAYNE WAS AFRAID OF
WHERE BEER WAS ONLY FIVE CENTS PER GLASS WHERE BEER WAS ONLY FIVE CENTS PER GLASS
Only One Corner Only One Corner
"Thou canst only be my long lost son Elkanan!" "Thou canst only be my long lost son Elkanan!"
AN ONLY CHILD'S TEA-PARTY AN ONLY CHILD'S TEA-PARTY

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The only lizard that has a voice is the Gecko
    • Only Above all others; particularly. "His most only elected mistress."
    • Only Alone in its class; by itself; not associated with others of the same class or kind; as, an only child.
    • Only Alone, by reason of superiority; preëminent; chief. "Motley's the only wear."
    • Only In one manner or degree; for one purpose alone; simply; merely; barely. "And to be loved himself, needs only to be known."
    • Only One alone; single; as, the only man present; his only occupation.
    • conj Only Save or except (that); -- an adversative used elliptically with or without that, and properly introducing a single fact or consideration. "He might have seemed some secretary or clerk . . . only that his low, flat, unadorned cap . . . indicated that he belonged to the city."
    • Only Singly; without more; as, only-begotten.
    • Only So and no otherwise; no other than; exclusively; solely; wholly. "She being only wicked.""Every imagination . . . of his heart was only evil."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: You can only smell 1/20th as well as a dog
    • only Single as regards number, or as regards class or kind; one and no more or other; single; sole: as, he was the only person present; the only answer possible; an only son; my only friend; the only assignable reason.
    • only Alone; nothing or nobody but.
    • only Mere; simple.
    • only Single in degree or excellence; hence, distinguished above or beyond all others; special.
    • only Alone; no other or others than; nothing or nobody else than; nothing or nobody but; merely: as, only one remained; man cannot live on bread only.
    • only No more than; merely; simply; just: as, he had sold only two.
    • only In but one manner, for but one purpose, by but one means, with but one result, etc.; in no other manner, respect, place, direction, circumstances, or condition than; at no other time, or in no other way, etc., than; for no other purpose or with no other result than; solely; exclusively; entirely; altogether: as, he ventured forth only at night; he was saved only by the skin of his teeth; he escaped the gallows only to be drowned; articles sold only in packages.
    • only Above all others; preëminently; especially.
    • only Singly; with no other in the same relation: as, the only begotten Son of the Father.
    • only Synonyms 1-3. Alone, Only. See alone.
    • only But; except; excepting that.
    • only Except; with the exception of.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In 1955, only 330 Volkswagen Beetle's were sold at a price of $1800 each in the United States.
    • adj Only ōn′li single in number or kind: this above all others: alone
    • adv Only in one manner: for one purpose: singly: merely: barely: entirely
    • conj Only but: except that
    • ***

Quotations

  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “The only way to start is to start.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Age withers only the outside.”
  • Jerry Reynolds
    Jerry Reynolds
    “If God had an agent, the world wouldn't be built yet. It'd only be about Thursday.”
  • Thea Alexander
    Thea Alexander
    “Great things are only possible with outrageous requests.”
  • Oscar Wilde
    Oscar%20Wilde
    “Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow.”
  • Anatole France
    Anatole%20France
    “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”

Idioms

Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades - (USA) Used in response to someone saying "almost" in a win/lose situation. The full expression is "Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades." An alternate form puts "and flinging shit from a shovel" at the end.
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Beauty is only skin deep - This idiom means that appearances can be deceptive and something that seems or looks good may turn out to be bad.
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Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades - This phrase is used to say that if you come close to success without succeeding, it is not good enough
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Face only a mother could love - When someone has a face only a mother could love, they are ugly.
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Heaven only knows - The answer to a question is not or cannot be known. For example, heaven only knows when the war will end.
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Not the only pebble on the beach - If something is not the only pebble on the beach, there are other possibilities or alternatives.
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Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches - This means that it's hard to know how much someone else is suffering..
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. only, anly, onlich, AS. ānlic, i.e., onelike. See One and Like (a.)

Usage

In literature:

Father bought the only set of dishes to be had in St. Paul and the only clock.
"Old Rail Fence Corners" by Various
To us, taught to be as much at home in the water as on the land, they only added spice to our wanderings.
"A Labrador Doctor" by Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
Few only returned home to tell the tale.
"Across Unknown South America" by Arnold Henry Savage Landor
Ambition should only have well-regulated roads, and success should only begin with a lower office in the state.
"Debts of Honor" by Maurus Jókai
This was Mrs. Orme, the widow of his only child, and the mother of his heir.
"Orley Farm" by Anthony Trollope
And yet this is not only reasonable and natural, but it is her only chance.
"Chance" by Joseph Conrad
Julyman was only a shade removed from his original savagery.
"The Heart of Unaga" by Ridgwell Cullum
Error, accident, and luck seem to be the only sense there is in primitive life.
"Folkways" by William Graham Sumner
To only one person did he unbend.
"Chatterbox, 1906" by Various
No love subsists if it is only recipient; no love subsists if it is only communicated.
"Expositions of Holy Scripture" by Alexander Maclaren
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In poetry:

My life has only brought me sorrow;
Love’s good and bad only taught me sorrow.
My constant companion is only pain,
My lover has only bought me sorrow.
"Rubaiyat 31" by Shams al-Din Hafiz
I only know that every day brings good above"
My poor deserving;
I only feel that, in the road of Life, true Love
Is leading me along and never swerving.
"Gratitude" by Henry Van Dyke
The thanking heart can only silence keep;
The breaking heart can only die alone:
Our happy love above abysses deep
Of unguessed power hovers, and is gone!
"One and One" by Rose Hawthorne Lathrop
What form comes bounding from above
Down Arafa, the mountain lonely,
Afraid to scare its long-lost dove,
Yet swift as joy—"It can be only,
Only my love!"
"Mount Arafa" by Richard Doddridge Blackmore
Or do angel voices speak to you so softly,
When we only hear a little wind sigh;
And the peaceful dew of Heaven fall upon you,
When we only see a white cloud passing by?
"From Wonder World" by Kate Greenaway
To love is all my wish,
I only live for this;
Grant me, Lord, my heart's desire,
There by faith for ever dwell;
This I always will require,
Thee, and only thee, to feel.
"Hymn XXVII: Saviour, the World's and Mine" by Charles Wesley

In news:

We're only a couple of months into the hockey season, but already the Reading Royals are enjoying themselves 12 wins in November helped, especially considering they only lost twice.
Only Nixon Could Go to China, Only Obama Can Reform Entitlements.
Although several identical dresses were made for the production, the dress to be sold is the only version seen in the film and the only complete original dress to survive.
It will only be visible only from parts of northeastern Australia and the open ocean, although you can get a virtual view right here in Montana.
If you have a vegetable garden and grow only summer vegetables or only a few fall crops, consider ways to enrich your soil for next year's growing season.
Bill and Robyn Reid's restored Avro Anson is one of only three "Annies," and the only Mark I model, currently flying.
"There's only a limited amount of business, there's only so many floats in the Rose Parade, it's not like you can just keep building and building floats .".
It lets users search keywords that only certain friends have mentioned, or only for posts that have been "liked" by a certain number of people on the site.
She is the only American to rank among the Top 10 all-time gymnasts and the only female athlete to be inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame twice — as an individual in 2006 and a team in 2008.
Tickets are $20 for this annual fundraiser, but Thursday, December 2nd only, you can buy yours for only $10 each.
The only image of the Chiefs on this day was one of a team fighting to heal itself in the only way it really knew how.
There is only one center here who is capable of changing the game, but Baylor's Brittney Griner is not the only player whose long shadow could change a game at the Women's Final Four this weekend.
Members Only documents are only displayed after login.
It is one of only 31 middle schools nationwide, and only one of seven in the state of Louisiana to receive the award.
Only one piece of evidence from Brandon Scott Lavergne's trial has been entered into evidence because it was the only evidence required when he pled guilty to murdering Mickey Shunick and Lisa Pate in August.
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In science:

When a superposition state passes through a PBS as shown in FIG. 1a, the PBS will direct the photon into two output ports because it transmits only horizontal component and reflects only vertical component.
Implement Quantum Random Walks with Linear Optics Elements
Edges connect only different node types; the edge (i, a) belongs to the graph if and only if the constraint Ca involves the variable xi , i.e. if a ∈ A (i) or equivalently i ∈ I (a).
Constraint Satisfaction by Survey Propagation
At the same time the Haar measure is factorized into a part that depends only on the eigenvectors (the ”angular” part) and a part that is a function of the eigenvalues {λi} of S only.
Random matrix theory and symmetric spaces
From Araki’s result, we only need to prove the ‘only if ’ direction.
Duality in quantum information manifolds
Only in this section we will work in the upstairs picture because only here is an integration over boundary-localized sources unambiguous.
Enlarging the Parameter Space of Heterotic M-Theory Flux Compactifications to Phenomenological Viability
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