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English definition of “only”

only

adverb (FEEL SORRY)    /ˈəʊn.li/ US  /ˈoʊn-/
used to show that you feel sorry about something that cannot happen when explaining why it cannot happen : I'd love to go to Australia . I only wish I could afford to.Sadness and regret I only hope/wish (that) B2 used to emphasize what you are hoping or wishing for: I only hope you know what you're doing. I only wish that they would keep in touch more regularly . Grammar:Not only … but alsoWe use not only X but also Y in formal contexts:Grammar:OnlyOnly is an adjective or adverb.Grammar:Only as an adjectiveWe use only as an adjective to mean that there is just one or very few of something, or that there are no others:Grammar:Only as an adverbWe use only as an adverb to mean that something is limited to some people, things, an amount or an activity:Grammar:Only: positionAs an adjective, we use only in front of a noun or one, or before another adjective or a number:
(Definition of only adverb (FEEL SORRY) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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