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on·ly / ˈōnlē/ • adv. 1. and no one or nothing more besides; solely or exclusively: there are only a limited number of tickets available only their faith sustained them. ∎  no more than (implying that more was hoped for or expected); merely: deaths from heart disease have only declined by 10 percent she was still only in her mid-thirties. ∎  no longer ago than: genes that were discovered only last year. ∎  not until: a final report reached him only on January 15.2. with the negative or unfortunate result that: she turned into the parking car, only to find her way blocked. ∎  inevitably, although unfortunate or undesirable: if banks canceled the debts, these countries would only borrow more rebellion will only bring more unhappiness.• adj. alone of its or their kind; single or solitary: the only medal we had ever won he was an only child. ∎  alone deserving consideration: it's simply the only place to be seen these days.• conj. inf. except that; but for the fact that: he is still a young man, only he seems older because of his careworn expression.PHRASES: only just by a very small margin; almost not: the building survived the earthquake, but only just. ∎  very recently: I'd only just arrived back from Paris.only too —— used to emphasize that something is the case to an extreme or regrettable extent: you should be only too glad to be rid of him they found that the rumor was only too true.