Meaning of “if only” in the English Dictionary

american-english dictionary

"if only" in British English

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if only

B1 used when you want to say how doing something would make it possible to avoid something unpleasant:

If only she'd listen to what he's saying, I'm sure they could solve the problem.

(Definition of “if only” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"if only" in American English

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if only

the reason for this is:

I think you should get a job, if only to have something to do.

If only also means that doing something simple would have made it possible to avoid something unpleasant:

If only she had listened to me, she wouldn’t be in this mess.

If only is also used to mean "I wish":

If only I had more money.

(Definition of “if only” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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