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ADVERBS Nothing; off; once; only; over

Only, i.e. onely, is used as an adjective. See But (130), and Transpositions (420). “The only (mere) breath.” SPENS. F. Q. i. 7. 13. “It was for her love and only pleasure.” INGELEND. “By her only aspect she turned men into stones.” BACON, Adv. of L. 274.

We have lost this adjectival use of only, except in the sense of "single," in such phrases as "an only child."

Only, like "alone" (18), is used nearly in the sense of "above all," "surpassing."

Oph. You are merry, my lord.
Ham. Who? I?
Oph. Ay, my lord.
Ham. O God, your only jig-maker.

“Your worm is your only emperor for diet.” Ib. iv. 3. 22.

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