-ibly

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Euphonic blend of -ible and -ly, due to difficulty of pronouncing *-iblely. Compare same sound change in unrelated feebly, nimbly, and nobly.

Suffix[edit]

-ibly

  1. Used to form adverbs corresponding to adjectives that end in -ible.
    audibleaudibly

Usage notes[edit]

As with -ably, generally only used to form analogs to adjectives ending in -ible, replacing the existing -ible suffix (respectively -able). Rather than a distinct suffix, this can be considered a class of euphonic blends of “-ble” and -ly, as in feebly, nimbly, and nobly, among others.

Further, as with -ible, generally unproductive as an suffix to existing English words – most words ending in -ibly are derived from words ending in -ible borrowed from Latin or Old/Middle French, not formed by suffixing in English. Productive uses in English include digestibly.