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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English hevely, hevyliche, from Old English hefiġlīċe (heavily; grievously), equivalent to heavy +‎ -ly.


  • IPA(key): /ˈhɛvɪli/
  • (file)


heavily (comparative more heavily, superlative most heavily)

  1. With a great weight.
    heavily burdened
    She fell heavily into bed.
    He clomped heavily up the stairs in his boots.
    The great clod trod heavily on my toes!
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 5, in A Cuckoo in the Nest:
      The departure was not unduly prolonged. [] Within the door Mrs. Spoker hastily imparted to Mrs. Love a few final sentiments on the subject of Divine Intention in the disposition of buckets; [] ; a deep, guttural instigation to the horse; and the wheels of the waggonette crunched heavily away into obscurity.
  2. To a considerable degree, to a great extent.
    He relied heavily on the data collected by the others.
    He drank heavily.
    heavily in debt;   heavily tattooed
    heavily pregnant
    • 1977, Agatha Christie, chapter 4, in An Autobiography, part I, London: Collins, →ISBN:
      An indulgent playmate, Grannie would lay aside the long scratchy-looking letter she was writing (heavily crossed ‘to save notepaper’) and enter into the delightful pastime of ‘a chicken from Mr Whiteley's’.
  3. In a manner designed for heavy duty.
    heavily armed soldiers;   heavily armoured tanks;   heavily reinforced walls
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 14, in The China Governess[1]:
      Nanny Broome was looking up at the outer wall.  Just under the ceiling there were three lunette windows, heavily barred and blacked out in the normal way by centuries of grime.
  4. So as to be thick or heavy.
    heavily built young men;   his heavily muscled arms
  5. In a laboured manner.
    he breathed heavily