From Middle English swetly, swetely, sweteliche, from Old English swētlīċe (“sweetly; pleasantly”), equivalent to sweet + -ly. Cognate with Old High German swuozlīhho (“sweetly”), Icelandic sætlega (“sweetly; with gratitude”), German süßlich (“sweetish; sugary”), Dutch zoetelijk (“sentimental”).
- In a sweet or pleasant manner.
- 1958, Anthony Burgess, The Enemy in the Blanket (The Malayan Trilogy), published 1972, page 232:
- "No, Auntie," said Hardman, sweetly, seriously.