Find the word definition

Crossword clues for merely

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
just/only/merely etc a formality
▪ Getting a gun license here seems to be just a formality.
▪ Profit figures become merely amounts which can be spent without impairing initial capital invested.
▪ The purely theoretical becomes the truly real, and that which is experienced as real becomes merely an illusion.
▪ When politics invades religion, legality becomes merely emblematic.
▪ Big failures are held in check by becoming merely small failures at the next highest level on a hierarchy.
▪ But at what point in the isolation of elements does a person become merely a mad torso with head attached?
▪ Most Contemporaries will not make the transition; they will merely become dated and irrelevant and will eventually go out of print.
▪ Though all this may sound complicated, after the first year's practice it becomes merely routine.
▪ They merely became more discerning in the façade they showed to the public.
▪ If you merely mean some sort of intuitive intelligence, then I hope I am psychic.
▪ In other cases, however, inadequacy merely means that we have not go as much as we would have liked.
▪ Longer hours, indeed, would merely mean more unsold coal.
▪ It means merely that where the trustee was in possession of the property under trust, he could be ordered to make it over.
▪ A hefty victory merely meant that the opposition were too weak.
▪ This does not mean merely that correctness of translation is undetermined by all the possible data.
▪ Education is about ends, not merely means.
▪ Kant is opposed to treating humans as merely means to an end.
▪ This, of course, might merely reflect the actual flattening effect which information technology appears to have on organisational structures anyway.
▪ Crime and Punishment did not merely reflect or even confirm that strange and removed elsewhere, the world journalists write about.
▪ It merely reflects the implementation of a programme laid down much earlier.
▪ These differences merely reflect the current balance of locus of academic activity and the obviously higher unit costs of hospital infrastructure.
▪ If targets are too simple they merely reflect current behaviour.
▪ Gone are the days when the, existence of a signed building contract merely reflected a formality required by prudent businessmen.
▪ It accounts for the way in which goods not merely reflect distinction, but are an instrument of it.
▪ Usually diplomatic services and foreign offices in this respect merely reflected the societies they served.
▪ There were plenty of others below it, but they merely served as points of interest on the way down.
▪ The receivables merely serve as collateral in the event of default.
▪ This too may merely serve to let the situation spiral out of control.
▪ The objects serve merely as a medium for permitting the construction to occur.
▪ But the case of Auerbach merely serves to illustrate how ill-founded the criterion is.
▪ This week a poll in Newsweek merely served to underscore this picture.
▪ Christmas has merely served to highlight the deficiencies of some businesses-great website, shame about the delivery.
▪ Such statistics can serve merely to overwhelm one with a sense of futility.
▪ I merely want the information upon which I can decide whether refurbishment can go ahead.
▪ You do not merely want to be considered just the best of the best.
▪ I merely want you to perform an experiment.
▪ I merely want to describe the blow that a child can feel on losing a beloved baby-sitter.
▪ When hostilities began he merely wanted the regime to behave dynamically.
▪ These are not, you have to believe, the cynically high-minded ravings of a politician who merely wants to get re-elected.
▪ Perhaps he merely wanted the signal to be read in that way.
▪ He merely wanted me to know he had been identified and that the police had attempted an interview.
▪ As Foreman became angrier and angrier, Paula merely smiled.
▪ He was merely a boy! I wouldn't have expected him to understand.
▪ I wondered if the girl had meant more to him than being merely a casual friend.
▪ The committee does not blame any individual; we are merely trying to find out how the accident happened.
▪ The President's position is merely ceremonial; it is the Chancellor who holds real power.
▪ Today people want more from working life than merely a paycheck.
▪ You are not there to teach, but merely to supervise the children.
▪ But both companies' increase in money sales merely matched the six-fold increase in the retail prices index over the 20 years.
▪ Control was merely the essential prerequisite to constructive administration.
▪ If you merely mean some sort of intuitive intelligence, then I hope I am psychic.
▪ So it is possible that the difference between Mill and Bentham here is merely apparent.
▪ The Speaker calls upon the Minister in charge who merely stands up and nods.
▪ Unless managers see the control process through to its conclusion, they are merely monitoring performance rather than exercising control.
▪ You don't have to finish first in each race, merely in the leading group.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Merely \Mere"ly\, adv.

  1. Purely; unmixedly; absolutely.

    Ulysses was to force forth his access, Though merely naked.

  2. Not otherwise than; simply; barely; only.

    Prize not your life for other ends Than merely to oblige your friends.

    Syn: Solely; simply; purely; barely; scarcely.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

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


adv. 1 (context obsolete English) wholly, entirely. (16th-20th c.) 2 (context focus English) Without any other reason etc.; only, just, and nothing more. (from 16th c.)


adv. 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" [syn: simply, just, only, but]

Usage examples of "merely".

We will enumerate now some things that are tolerated and yet are in accord with laws of divine providence, by which, however, the merely natural man confirms himself in favor of nature and against God and in favor of human prudence and against divine providence.

Nagoya and hundreds of casualties, and afterwards there began a frantic dumping of accumulated goods abroad, to pay not merely for munitions but for such now vitally essential imports as Australian meat and Canadian and American corn.

Although he suspected the accusatory look resulted more from frustration than anger, when Marguerite merely shrugged and laid back against her pillow, Germaine concluded they had taxed her limited strength enough for one day.

But the waters were full of low-tide shallows where the ships ran aground, and the coastline was confusing because what seemed to be harbors were merely straits between islands and the coast, and what seemed to be straits sometimes proved to be the wide mouths of shallow rivers.

However, Professor Schleiermacher was a specimen of that noble type of scientific men to whom gold was merely the rare metal Au, and diamonds merely the element C in the scarcest of its manifold allotropic embodiments.

Our adversaries do not deny that even here there is a system of law and penalty: and surely we cannot in justice blame a dominion which awards to every one his due, where virtue has its honour, and vice comes to its fitting shame, in which there are not merely representations of the gods, but the gods themselves, watchers from above, and--as we read--easily rebutting human reproaches, since they lead all things in order from a beginning to an end, allotting to each human being, as life follows life, a fortune shaped to all that has preceded--the destiny which, to those that do not penetrate it, becomes the matter of boorish insolence upon things divine.

His sole interest lay in getting one Captain Alicia DeVries not merely ambulatory but fully reconditioned, and his was clearly an obsessive personality.

It merely sought to annoy us into leaving, so it could have our wounded.

The necklace that had merely annoyed her for the last few days, now gave her the willies.

I reached to a pitcher of daru, annoyed that those who remained upon sufferance would dare to doubt-and then merely held the pitcher without pouring.

Its living-room was an immense annulus of glass from which, by merely moving along its circular length, any desired view could be had.

This measure had a anther reaching effect than merely giving the Union armies an increased supply of men.

The anthropogony of the Bible is merely a genealogy of a swarm escaping from the human hive which settled on the mountainous slopes of Thibet between the summits of the Himalaya and the Caucasus.

Several learned writers have strenuously labored to prove that the ground secret of the Mysteries, the grand thing revealed in them, was the doctrine of apotheosis, shaking the established theology by unmasking the historic fact that all the gods were merely deified men.

Madison contended that the powers of taxation and appropriation of the proposed government should be regarded as merely instrumental to its remaining powers, in other words, as little more than a power of self-support.