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

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 But hopefully no one was taking Vettel’s words as anything other than a compliment or the idea as anything more than an enjoyable dream. Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9 May 2022 Child free, at least hopefully not forever, but that's the way things are at the moment. James Brown, USA TODAY, 8 May 2022 Here's to hopefully seeing more social media updates from the new happy couple! Rebecca Norris, Good Housekeeping, 6 May 2022 If one thing’s for sure, there will be more memes (and hopefully more hot dogs). Ethan Shanfeld, Variety, 6 May 2022 While your family will hopefully never need it, an emergency kit is a must have for any road trip. Hunter Boyce, ajc, 5 May 2022 In a cinematic universe still crowded with familiar faces, Isaac’s Moon Knight is also the most fresh—and hopefully that alone will grant the franchise some staying power. Josh St. Clair, Men's Health, 4 May 2022 Featuring interviews with his victims, many of whom lost tens of thousands of dollars, The Tinder Swindler exposes the underbelly of app romance, and hopefully serves as a warning to anyone thinking of transferring their internet bae a ton of cash. Amy Mackelden, ELLE, 30 Apr. 2022 Still, a wedding is coming, and hopefully so are more kids. Rosa Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 28 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of hopefully

1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of hopefully was in 1593

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Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hopefully.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hopefully. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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