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See more synonyms for partly on Thesaurus.com
  1. in part; to some extent or degree; partially; not wholly: His statement is partly true.
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Origin of partly

First recorded in 1515–25; part + -ly
Can be confusedpartially partly
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for partly

slightly, somewhat, partially, carelessly, halfway, inadequately, incompletely, insufficiently, notably, piecemeal, relatively, measurably, noticeably

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


  1. to some extent; not completely
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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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper