from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. In a hopeful manner.
  • adv. Usage Problem It is to be hoped: "Marriage is a coming together for better or for worse, hopefully enduring” ( William O. Douglas).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. It is hoped that; I hope; we hope.
  • adv. In a hopeful manner.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. In a hopeful manner.
  • adv. I hope; if all goes well.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In a hopeful or encouraging manner; in a manner to excite hope; with ground for expectation of advantage, success, or pleasure.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adv. it is hoped
  • adv. with hope; in a hopeful manner


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Coined between 1630 and 1640 from hopeful +‎ -ly.



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  • I use it in the same contexts that I use "hoffentlich" in German. I think it (the relevant form) works in both languages.

    February 3, 2009

  • I admit to being uncomfortable with this. The usual technical arguments aside, I find it unpleasingly vague in most cases, or at worst a meaningless filler.

    February 3, 2009

  • Hopefully, I'll now start using this word less....

    October 31, 2007

  • Someone's got this on a "meanings have changed over the years" list, and I would rather agree. I think it got co-opted because people did want a single word to mean "I hope that".

    October 30, 2007

  • This means "with hope" -- not "I hope."

    December 28, 2006