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if only - definition and synonyms


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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



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phrase mainly spoken
  1. 1
    used for saying that you would like a situation to be different

    If only we could afford to buy a place of our own.

    If only you knew how hard I’ve tried to please you.

    There’s so much more I could do if only I had the time.

  2. 2
    used for saying that when something good happens, it may only be for a limited purpose, time etc

    I wish he’d come round and see us sometime, if only just to say hello.

    Synonyms and related words
See also main entry: if
quiz invitation


a description of an economic or political situation based on analysis of information at the present time

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Open Dictionary


an unregulated form of capitalism that features financial deregulation, privatisation and low tax for high earners

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