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From Middle English selfly, from Old English selflīċ ‎(automatic, spontaneous, voluntary), equivalent to self +‎ -ly.


selfly ‎(comparative more selfly, superlative most selfly)

  1. Of or pertaining to self or one's own self, personal.
    • 2001, Jed Rasula, Steve McCaffery, Imagining Language: An Anthology:
      This denotes and declares the divided tongues, where every property had brought itself forth out of the universal sensual tongue into a selishness and a peculiar selfly understanding, so that they did not any longer understand one another [...]


selfly ‎(not comparable)

  1. In, of, or by one's self; of one's own accord, voluntary, automatic.
    • 1880, Josuah Sylvester, The complete works of Joshuah Sylvester: for the first time ...:
      Thy gloomy Front, that selfly hath no light