• synonyms


[hoh-lee, hohl-lee]
See more synonyms for wholly on Thesaurus.com
  1. entirely; totally; altogether; quite.
  2. to the whole amount, extent, etc.
  3. so as to comprise or involve all.
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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. 2018

Related Words for wholly

thoroughly, altogether, quite, utterly, fully, perfectly, totally, individually, purely, solely, specifically, all, outright, roundly, well, comprehensively, just, only

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


  1. completely, totally, or entirely
  2. without exception; exclusively
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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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper