June 19, 2012
solely (adverb)
\SOHL-lee\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : without another : singly, alone2 : only
How do you use it?
The decision is solely yours—no one can make it for you.
Are you a word wiz?

Your understanding of a word isn't dependent solely on your ability to recognize its correct use in a sentence, but that ability sure helps you use it. Which of the following sentences do you think uses "solely" correctly?

"Solely" is an adverb, but in sentences B, C, and D it's used as an adjective. "Solely" does, though, have a connection to adjectives: it comes from the adjective "sole," which has several meanings, among them "being the only one" and "belonging only to one person or group named." "Sole" comes from the Latin word "solus," meaning "alone." This Latin word is also at the root of the word "solo,"as in, "Five students sang solos in the chorus concert." Those students of course sang a song or part of a song alone.
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