[hoh-lee, hohl-lee]


entirely; totally; altogether; quite.
to the whole amount, extent, etc.
so as to comprise or involve all.

Origin of wholly

First recorded in 1250–1300, wholly is from the Middle English word holliche. See whole, -ly
Can be confusedholey holy wholly
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wholly

Contemporary Examples of wholly

Historical Examples of wholly

  • I got to trust you wholly in these matters, and I know I can do it, too.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Still she was a girl; and no girl could be wholly without importance on such a day.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Robert, though not a professional fisherman, was not wholly inexperienced.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • You, my dear, are happy—May you always be so—and then I can never be wholly miserable.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • One's attention was not called to it otherwise than as a wholly inevitable state.

British Dictionary definitions for wholly



completely, totally, or entirely
without exception; exclusively
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 wholly

c.1300, probably from Old English *hallice; see whole + -ly (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper