hopefully

play
adverb hope·ful·ly \ˈhōp-fə-lē\

Definition of hopefully

  1. 1 :  in a way that expresses desire with an expectation of fulfillment :  in a hopeful manner gazed up at us hopefully

  2. 2 :  it is hoped :  I hope :  we hope hopefully the rain will end soon

Can hopefully mean ‘I hope’?

In the 1960s the second sense of hopefully (“it is hoped”), which dates to the early 18th century and had been in fairly widespread use since at least the 1930s, underwent a surge in popularity. A surge of criticism followed in reaction, but the criticism took no account of the grammar of adverbs. Hopefully when used to mean “it is hoped” is a member of a class of adverbs known as disjuncts. Disjuncts serve as a means by which the author or speaker can comment directly to the reader or hearer usually on the content of the sentence to which they are attached. Many other adverbs (as interestingly, frankly, clearly, luckily, unfortunately) are similarly used; most are so ordinary as to excite no comment or interest whatsoever. The “it is hoped” sense of hopefully is entirely standard.

Examples of hopefully in a sentence

  1. They gazed up at us hopefully.

  2. Hopefully, things will get better soon.

1593

First Known Use of hopefully

1593


HOPEFULLY Defined for English Language Learners

hopefully

play
adverb hope·ful·ly \ˈhōp-fə-lē\

Definition of hopefully for English Language Learners

  • : in a hopeful manner

  • : it is hoped : I hope : we hope



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up hopefully? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

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a brief usually trivial fact

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