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From Middle English gretly, gretely, gretliche, greteliche, equivalent to great +‎ -ly.



greatly (comparative greatlier or greater or more greatly, superlative greatliest or greatest or most greatly)

  1. (archaic) Nobly; magnanimously.
  2. To a great extent or degree.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 12, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      There were many wooden chairs for the bulk of his visitors, and two wicker armchairs with red cloth cushions for superior people. From the packing-cases had emerged some Indian clubs, […], and all these articles […] made a scattered and untidy decoration that Mrs. Clough assiduously dusted and greatly cherished.
    • 2011 October 29, Phil McNulty, “Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal”, in BBC Sport:
      Terry's goal looked to have put Chelsea in control on the stroke of half-time but Arsenal's response presented a compelling case for Wenger's insistence that reports of his side's demise have been greatly exaggerated.
    Expenses greatly exceeded revenues.
    He was more greatly beloved than anyone in living memory.



Most common English words before 1923 in Project Gutenberg: safe · main · q · #980: greatly · floor · example · class