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[pahrt-lee] /ˈpɑrt li/
in part; to some extent or degree; partially; not wholly:
His statement is partly true.
Origin of partly
First recorded in 1515-25; part + -ly
Can be confused
partially, partly. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for partly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "It is partly for your sake that I wish it, my poor child," said he.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • She stood aghast all this time, partly with real, partly with affected, surprise.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • partly because of it he never got to know the middle classes in England.

    The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris
  • This feeling was partly nervous, it is true, but not entirely so.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • I asked, partly to fill up Mrs. Alderling's continued silence.

    Questionable Shapes William Dean Howells
British Dictionary definitions for partly


to some extent; not completely
Usage note
Partly and partially are to some extent interchangeable, but partly should be used when referring to a part or parts of something: the building is partly (not partially) of stone, while partially is preferred for the meaning to some extent: his mother is partially (not partly) sighted
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 partly

1520s, from part (n.) + -ly (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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