seely

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English sely, from Old English *sǣliġ (blessed) (attested only in form ġesǣliġ), from Proto-Germanic *sēlīgaz (lucky, happy), equivalent to seel +‎ -y. Cognate with West Frisian sillich, Dutch zalig, German selig. Developed into silly.

Adjective[edit]

seely (comparative more seely, superlative most seely)

  1. (obsolete) Lucky, fortunate.
  2. (obsolete) Innocent; harmless.
  3. (obsolete) Pitiable, deserving of sympathy; poor, miserable.
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, Folio Society, 2006, vol.1, p.57:
      Whereas the poore, the banished, and seely servants, live often as carelesly and as pleasantly as the other.
  4. (obsolete) Trifling, insignificant.
  5. (obsolete) Silly, foolish.