hope·​ful·​ly | \ ˈhōp-fə-lē How to pronounce hopefully (audio) \

Definition of hopefully

1 : in a way that expresses desire with an expectation of fulfillment : in a hopeful manner gazed up at us hopefully
2 : it is hoped : I hope : we hope hopefully the rain will end soon

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Can hopefully mean 'I hope'?: Usage Guide

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 (such 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

They gazed up at us hopefully. Hopefully, things will get better soon.
Recent Examples on the Web And some of her alleged relationships would hopefully have been no big deal in 2019. Molly Lambert, The Hollywood Reporter, "Tell It Slant: Modern Women Writers Reflect on Emily Dickinson's Influence," 1 Nov. 2019 The recent memory of victory is hopefully not going to cloud the future challenges that are very rapidly emerging. NBC News, "How one Syrian camp shows the fight against ISIS isn't over," 20 Sep. 2019 See below for incontrovertible proof: Based on the international bestseller by Mark Burnell, the film adaptation of The Rhythm Section hits U.S. theaters on January 31; hopefully, there will be even more great wigs in store for us. Emma Specter, Vogue, "The Rhythm Section," 19 Sep. 2019 For Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, the Tologs have a returning class that will hopefully propel the team to a playoff spot in the tough Mission League. Glendale News-Press, "Girls’ Golf Preview: Trio of teams aim for improvement," 4 Sep. 2019 There’s a simple answer that’s hopefully not too simplistic. Ezra Klein, Vox, "Is Big Tech addictive? A debate with Nir Eyal.," 7 Aug. 2019 In my twinned Johnson and Charlesworth pieces there’s ekphrastic writing, about a specific collage — which is its own challenge, how language can conjure a work of art — but then the pieces drift and hopefully go to weird places. Tobias Carroll, Longreads, "‘I Surprise Myself With This Refusal To Let Go’: Kate Zambreno on the ‘Ghostly Correspondence’," 25 July 2019 In other words, his five siblings—Zahara, Pax, Shiloh, Vivienne, and Knox—will hopefully get the chance to visit him during his studies. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Angelina Jolie’s Oldest Son Is Heading to South Korea for College," 6 Aug. 2019 This will hopefully help light a fire under any remaining Web developers who haven't gotten the message about Flash's 2020 death certificate. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Firefox is stepping up its blocking game," 6 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hopefully.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hopefully

1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for hopefully

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for hopefully

The first known use of hopefully was in 1593

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More Definitions for hopefully


How to pronounce hopefully (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hopefully

: in a hopeful manner
: it is hoped : I hope : we hope

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Comments on hopefully

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


to engage in dissolute behavior

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