-ly

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See also: ly, LY, and .ly

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English -ly, -li, -lich, from Old English -līċ, from Proto-Germanic *-līkaz (having the body or form of), from *līką (body) (whence lich). Cognate with Dutch -lijk, German -lich and Swedish -lig, and with English -like (from Proto-Germanic *līka-).

Suffix[edit]

-ly

  1. Used to form adjectives from nouns, the adjectives having the sense of "like or characteristic of what is denoted by the noun".
    friendly
Translations[edit]
Synonyms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old English -līċe.

Suffix[edit]

-ly

  1. Used to form adverbs from adjectives.
    suddenly
Usage notes[edit]

In casual usage, -ly is sometimes omitted from adverbs (e.g., badly becomes bad). This is proscribed (considered improper grammar) by many: “I want it badly.” being preferred to “I want it bad.”, for example.

Various sound changes and spelling changes occur for -ly:

  • If an adjective ends with the letter y, it changes into i before adding the suffix (e.g. ready, readily).
  • If an adjective ends with ble, these euphonically blend to bly, due to difficulty of pronouncing *blely. Examples include -ably and -ibly, but also feebly, nimbly, and nobly, among others.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

See also[edit]


Middle English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Old English, see above

Suffix[edit]

-ly

  1. -ly (suffix used to form adverbs)