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From Middle English reowthfulliche, equivalent to ruthful +‎ -ly.


ruthfully (comparative more ruthfully, superlative most ruthfully)

  1. (manner) In a manner that is ruthful:
    1. Sorrowfully, ruefully.
      • 1901, George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra, Act III,
        CAESAR (ruthfully). Rufio, Rufio: my men at the barricade are between the sea party and the shore party. I have murdered them.
      • 1997, K. Ayyappapanicker, Sahitya Akademi staff, Medieval Indian Literature: An Anthology, page 232,
        They tantalize, particularly when the speaker or the central character of the lyric is a prematurely married girl, ruthfully yearning to return to her parental home, and there, reunite with her childhood lover.
      • 2001, Michael Innes, Death at the President's Lodging, page 188,
        No change, he reflected ruthfully a moment later, was to be got from Empson that way.
    2. In a manner that causes pity; piteously.
      • 1997, Neil W. Hamilton (quoting Owen Lattimore), Zealotry and Academic Freedom, page 313,
        This commonplace observation becomes very poignant when you are the man accused, and a man like McCarthy ruthfully exploits his advantage by making the accusations so sensational that the revelation of the truth seems drab and dull by comparison.
    3. Compassionately; mercifully.
      • 1999, Joseph L. Harsh, Taken at the Flood: Robert E. Lee and Confederate Strategy in the Maryland Campaign of 1862, page 285,
        Lee's wait was ruthfully short, although he might have traded the first news that reached him for a return to uncertainty.