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From swimming ((adj.) moving in water as an ordinary means of motion; without difficulty) +‎ -ly (suffix forming adverbs from adjectives).[1]



swimmingly (comparative more swimmingly, superlative most swimmingly)

  1. With a gliding motion suggesting swimming.
    • 1719, T[homas] d’Urfey, “A Song”, in Wit and Mirthː Or Pills to Purge Melancholy; being a Collection of the Best Merry Ballads and Songs, Old and New. [], volume II, London: Printed by W. Pearson, for J[acob] Tonson, [], OCLC 227526743, page 171:
      Bear your Hips ſwimmingly, tholl loll, loll, / Keep your Eyes languiſhing, tholl loll, loll, []
    • 1734, “Chapter LXXIX. Intituled, Those Who Tear forth; Revealed at Mecca.”, in George Sale, transl., The Koran, Commonly Called The Alcoran of Mohammed, Translated into English Immediately from the Original Arabic; [], London: [] C. Ackers [], for J. Wilcox [], OCLC 1103169479, page 479:
      By the angels who tear forth the ſouls of ſome with violence; and by thoſe who draw forth the ſouls of others with gentleneſs; by thoſe who glide ſwimmingly through the air with the commands of God; [] : on a certain day, the diſturbing blaſt of the trumpet ſhall diſturb the univerſe; and the ſubſequent blaſt ſhall follow it.
    • 1807, Horatius [pseudonym; Horace Twiss], St. Stephen’s Chapel: A Satirical Poem, London: Printed for James Ridgway, [], by J. B. Bell, [], OCLC 33216471, footnote, pages 15–16:
      The memorable exploit of the noble Secretary in rescuing his friend's dog from merciless winds and waters, deserves to be recorded in letters of gold— [] [W]hen, shortly afterwards, he jumped into the water for this heroic purpose, it was said, that a person who went on so swimmingly, could never get Down, even in the water.
    • 1833, Henry Harrison, “Miniature-painting”, in Instructions for the Mixture of Water-colours, Adapted to the Various Styles of Miniature Painting; and also to Landscape, Flower, and Fruit Painting. [], 3rd edition, London: J. Souter, [], OCLC 44424200, pages 8–9:
      After drawing a correct outline, wash a little "indigo" or "ultramarine" faintly and swimmingly upon the forehead, between the eyes and corners of the mouth;— []
  2. (figuratively, informal) In a very favourable manner; without difficulty; agreeably, successfully.
    Synonyms: like clockwork, smoothly, without a hitch



  1. ^ swimmingly, adv.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1919.

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