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From Middle English esiliche, equivalent to easy +‎ -ly.



easily (comparative easilier or more easily, superlative easiliest or most easily)

  1. Comfortably, without discomfort or anxiety.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, “Book II, Canto XI”, in The Faerie Queene. [], London: [] [John Wolfe] for William Ponsonbie, →OCLC:
      Eftsoones she causd him vp to be conuayd, / And of his armes despoyled easily []
    • 1961 October, “The winter timetables of British Railways: Southern Region”, in Trains Illustrated, page 593:
      Why this already very fast train should be speeded up still further, when none of the other more easily timed S.R. West of England trains has a single minute pared from its schedule, is unexplained - unless this is a playful dig at the Western Region, most of whose expresses, by reason of additional stops, will be decelerated from the same date.
  2. Without difficulty.
    Individuals without a family network are easily controlled.
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter II, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      Carried somehow, somewhither, for some reason, on these surging floods, were these travelers, of errand not wholly obvious to their fellows, yet of such sort as to call into query alike the nature of their errand and their own relations. It is easily earned repetition to state that Josephine St. Auban's was a presence not to be concealed.
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter III, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      One saint's day in mid-term a certain newly appointed suffragan-bishop came to the school chapel, and there preached on “The Inner Life.”  He at once secured attention by his informal method, and when presently the coughing of Jarvis [] interrupted the sermon, he altogether captivated his audience with a remark about cough lozenges being cheap and easily procurable.
  3. (colloquial, not comparable) Absolutely, without question.
    This is easily the best meal I have eaten.
  4. More quickly or likely than is usual or expected.
    I get distracted very easily.
    not easily offended



Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of esiliche