Sample sentence: (may not be factually true) "The American Federation of Labor ___ campaigned for higher wages throughout its existence."

Words like "intently" don't embody what I'm looking for; they don't connote industry towards a singular goal; and they have the extra meaning of eagerness and attention (human qualities), while the word I am looking for should be used with like a nonhuman actor like a business.

"Singularly" does not work because it means something else entirely, but if it didn't it sounds like it would work.

"Specifically" and "precisely" don't work because time-wise they seem perfective, like a single point in time, while the adverb I'm looking for should describe a process or otherwise something happening over a long period of time. And "—used to indicate the exact identity, purpose, or use of something" says "purpose", like a passive quality, while I want a "goal", something that is able to be achieved (and so there should exist someone achieving it).

"Resolutely" does not work because it has that extra "determined" and "unwavering" flavor, and it seems like it is a human quality. And having a single goal does not mean you are "marked by firm determination"

"Dedicatedly" doesn't work because it doesn't seem like a real word (less than 0.00001% on ngram) and "devotedly" means "in an extremely loving and loyal way". Similarly "staunchly".

I want something that means "concentratedly" like "focus one's attention or mental effort on a particular object or activity." (from Google) or "targetedly" like "select as an object of attention" (also from Google). Related phrases: "focus on", "devote oneself to"

It should also contain "solely" or "uniquely".

  • 3
    – GEdgar
    Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 21:58
  • If you're talking about real optical focus, probly the word you want would be accurately. But it seems likely you're talking about a metaphoric focus here, so you should consult your metaphor. Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 22:52
  • "Repeatedly" would also fit nicely
    – stackzebra
    Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 12:29

7 Answers 7


Single-mindedly fits the bill quite nicely, I think...


having one driving purpose or resolve : DETERMINED, DEDICATED
from m-w.com

having or showing a single aim or purpose:
a single-minded program.
from dictionary.com

Plus, of course, the suffix -ly, "a suffix forming adverbs from adjectives: gladly; gradually; secondly." (also from dictionary.com)

Or, as Cambridge has it directly:

in a way that is very determined and thinks only about achieving a particular thing
from dictionary.cambridge.org

(I would argue that their definition would be improved by saying "... achieving one particular thing".)

  • "single-mindedly" does sound a bit human but the definition works for me
    – cylinde
    Commented Dec 13, 2020 at 1:15

"The American Federation of Labor relentlessly campaigned for higher wages throughout its existence."

Meaning of relentless in English ... US /rɪˈlent·ləs/ continuing in a determined way without any interruption:



To me, "solely" embodies all of the required meanings. Personally I think "single-mindedly" sounds a little negative, as if they should have been doing more things at the same time.

  • 1
    But solely would also mean they were only doing one thing. In fact I think it implies it more than "single-mindedly" does. Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 23:44

I kind of like unflaggingly for this.

The American Federation of Labor unflaggingly campaigned for higher wages throughout its existence.

unflagging: not declining in strength or vigor; tireless (Collins); unrelenting (Websters); persistent or untiring. (Heritage)

Nothing against single-minded (the definition certainly fits); it's just that for me, that word has always had a bit of a negative connotation –as if you're incapable of seeing the big picture.


Only as in this is literally the one thing they did.

The American Federation of Labor only campaigned for higher wages throughout its existence.

as a single fact or instance and nothing more or different



If you say

The American Federation of Labor persistently campaigned for higher wages throughout its existence.

the reader will understand that the federation persists in that particular goal, not in general.

Among the synonyms of persistent you will also find single-mindedly which, I agree, fits your purpose very nicely. Persistently, however, does have some tenacity and obstinacy about it that helps to enhance perhaps a little more the connotation of concentration.


What about chiefly, predominantly, or centrally?

There's also principally and cardinally, but I'm not sure if those imply a degree of "moral correctness".

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.