- as a matter of fact; extremely: I am only too glad to go.
- unfortunately; very: It is only too likely to happen.
Origin of only
Synonyms for only
Antonyms for only
- (adjective)incomparable; unique
- (as noun)the object of all one's loveyou are my one and only
- (intensifier)he was only too pleased to help
- most regrettably (esp in the phrase only too true)
Word Origin for only
Old English ænlic, anlic "only, unique, solitary," literally "one-like," from an "one" (see one) + -lic "-like" (see -ly (1)). Use as an adverb and conjunction developed in Middle English. Distinction of only and alone (now usually in reference to emotional states) is unusual; in many languages the same word serves for both. German also has a distinction in allein/einzig. Phrase only-begotten (mid-15c.) is biblical, translating Latin unigenitus, Greek monogenes. The Old English form was ancenned.
At the very least, as a matter of fact, as in I know only too well that I can't win the lottery. This usage was first recorded in 1817.
Very, extremely, as in I am only too glad to help. This usage was first recorded in 1899.
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