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From Middle English positively, equivalent to positive +‎ -ly.



positively (comparative more positively, superlative most positively)

  1. (manner) In a positive manner.
    He approached the interview positively.
  2. (modal) With certainty.
    Synonyms: categorically, decisively, definitely; see also Thesaurus:certainly
    I will positively be there at 8 a.m.
  3. Absolutely; utterly.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:completely
    • 1915, Ernest Temple Thurston, The City of Beautiful Nonsense, page 118:
      [] Easter Sunday, for all its traditions, is a gladless day in London. There is positively nothing to do.
    • 1918 August, Katherine Mansfield [pseudonym; Kathleen Mansfield Murry], “Bliss”, in Bliss and Other Stories, London: Constable & Company, published 1920, →OCLC, page 127:
      She talked and laughed and positively forgot until he had come in (just as she had imagined) that Pearl Fulton had not turned up.
    • 2017 September 16, Hollywood, “Demonic possession, cries for help: Read the chilling true story behind the Conjuring’s creepy Annabelle doll”, in Hindustan Times[1]:
      "Positively do not open," reads the message under the cabinet in which Ed and Lorraine put the possessed Annabelle doll.
  4. (degree) Very.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:very
    I had a positively wonderful time.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 1, in The China Governess: A Mystery, London: Chatto & Windus, →OCLC:
      The half-dozen pieces [] were painted white and carved with festoons of flowers, birds and cupids. [] The bed was the most extravagant piece.  Its graceful cane halftester rose high towards the cornice and was so festooned in carved white wood that the effect was positively insecure, as if the great couch were trimmed with icing sugar.
    • 2015, Nancy Jo Sales, “Tinder and the Dawn of the “Dating Apocalypse””, in Vanity Fair[2]:
      In the 90s it was Craigslist and AOL chat rooms, then Match.com and Kiss.com. But the lengthy, heartfelt e-mails exchanged by the main characters in You’ve Got Mail (1998) seem positively Victorian in comparison to the messages sent on the average dating app today.


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See also[edit]