as recently as: I read that article only yesterday.
in the final outcome or decision: You will only regret your harsh words to me.
being the single one or the relatively few of the kind: This is the only pencil I can find.
having no sibling or no sibling of the same gender: Although I had lots of cousins, I was an only child.He was their only son, but they had three daughters
single in superiority or distinction; unique; the best: the one and only Muhammad Ali.
but (introducing a single restriction, restraining circumstance, or the like):I would have gone, only you objected.
Older Use. except; but: Only for him you would not be here.
Idioms about only
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use only in a sentence
Her striking new, vinyl-only single once again confirms St. Vincent's idiosyncratic talent.
One winter night, Posho Wembore sneaked into the exclusive whites-only club of the Hotel Pourquoi Pas?‘Argo’ in the Congo: The Ghosts of the Stanleyville Hostage Crisis | Nina Strochlic | November 23, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The monogamous or safe-only gay man is a far safer bet than the unprotected hetero swinger.The Outrageous Celibacy Requirement for Gay Blood Donors | Jay Michaelson | November 22, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
It was just what Berners-Lee had envisioned, a Web that was read-write rather than read-only.
His supporters hosted a men-only fundraiser with this admonition on the invitation: “Tell the misses not to wait up.”The Republican War on Women Continues, Just More Quietly | Eleanor Clift | October 13, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
In Captain Joseph Pelham's mind there was only-one answer to this question,—that the lad should come to him.By The Sea | Heman White Chaplin
In the first place the boys all spoke to him in that specially offensive you're-only-a-little-kid sort of way.War and the Weird | Forbes Phillips
He called Murgatroyd, placed him before the communicator, and set it at voice-only transmission.Pariah Planet | Murray Leinster
If I had only had a pistol I would have shot him, but boy scouts don't carry pistols-only in crazy story books.Roy Blakely, Pathfinder | Percy Keese Fitzhugh
She'd be hopeless in a sick-room; and this is a real keep-your-distance, Sundays-only sick-room, ain't it, Sarah Gamp?The Honour of the Clintons | Archibald Marshall
British Dictionary definitions for only
the only being single or very few in number: the only men left in town were too old to bear arms
(of a child) having no siblings
unique by virtue of being superior to anything else; peerless
one and only
(adjective) incomparable; unique
(as noun) the object of all one's love: you are my one and only
without anyone or anything else being included; alone: you have one choice only; only a genius can do that
merely or just: it's only Henry
no more or no greater than: we met only an hour ago
Irish (intensifier): she was only marvellous; it was only dreadful
used in conditional clauses introduced by if to emphasize the impossibility of the condition ever being fulfilled: if I had only known, this would never have happened
not earlier than; not…until: I only found out yesterday
if only an expression used to introduce a wish, esp one felt to be unrealizable
only if never…except when
(intensifier): he was only too pleased to help
most regrettably (esp in the phrase only too true)
but; however: used to introduce an exception or condition: play outside: only don't go into the street
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with only
In addition to the idioms beginning with only
- only game in town, the
- only too
- beauty is only skin deep
- have an eye (eyes only) for
- if only
- in name only
- not the only fish in the sea
- one and only
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.