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 confusedpartially partly Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for partly

Contemporary Examples of partly

Historical Examples of partly

  • "It is partly for your sake that I wish it, my poor child," said he.


    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.

  • 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


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

Word Origin and History for partly

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper