Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search



  • IPA(key): /ˈɡʊdli/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: good‧ly

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English goodly, goodlich, gōdlich, from Old English gōdlīċ (good, goodly), from Proto-Germanic *gōdalīkaz (good, goodly), equivalent to good +‎ -ly. Cognate with German gütlich (friendly), Icelandic góðlegur (benign).


goodly (comparative goodlier, superlative goodliest)

  1. (archaic) Good, pleasing in appearance.
    • Algernon Charles Swinburne, A Ballad of Death, lines 26–27
      O Sin, thou knowest that all thy shame in her
      Was made a goodly thing
  2. Quite large; considerable; sufficient; adequate; more than enough.
    a goodly sum of money
    walking at a goodly pace
    • 2014, Dilip D’souza, Final Test:
      Like any kid who played a game or two in school, I happened early on a golden rule: if I ate a goodly amount, I had better wait a goodly time before starting play—at least half an hour, preferably more.
    • 2014, Lael R. Neill, Sand Island Diaries:
      I am glad I brought a goodly supply of needlework with me. It's about all there is to do.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English goodly, goodliche, gōdliche, from Old English gōdlīċe (goodly), from the adjective, equivalent to good +‎ -ly. Cognate with Middle High German guotlīche, güetlīche.


goodly (comparative goodlier, superlative goodliest)

  1. (obsolete) In a goodly way; courteously, graciously.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter xxij, in Le Morte Darthur, book XVII:
      Thenne he sente for the thre knyghtes & they came afore hym / and he cryed hem mercy of that he had done to them / and they forgaf hit hym goodely and he dyed anone / Whanne the kynge was dede / alle the cyte was desmayed and wyst not who myghte be her kynge
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, London: William Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938, book II, canto IX:
      Goodly she entertaind those noble knights, / And brought them vp into her castle hall []
  2. (dialectal or obsolete) Well; excellently.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
    • 2011, Dawn French, Dear Fatty:
      I know doin' marriage is tough and hard to pull off for a long time, but from what I has been led to believe, you two was doin' it quite goodly. As goodly as a huntin' shootin' fishin' filmin' drinkin' Englishy can do with a gyratin' pumpin' singin' lookin' wearinv Yankee-doodle icon. It was seemin' to be good together.