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

Keep scrolling for more

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 In a video posted on social media, team president Kai Binkley Sims said the Wolverines will open play on the road in mid-September and plan to play their first game home game in October, hopefully at Sullivan Arena. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage Wolverines junior hockey team hires a coach and plans to move into Sullivan Arena," 15 Apr. 2021 And, hopefully, that this country's interests in the region will still be guarded. Greg Palkot, Fox News, "Reporter's notebook : 20 years of the forever war," 15 Apr. 2021 These results should lead the conservatives interpreting them to two distressing, but hopefully motivating, conclusions. Isaac Schorr, National Review, "A Wake-Up Call for Conservatives," 14 Apr. 2021 On Wednesday, April 14, both the publication and Hayley Hasselhoff herself shared the hopefully trailblazing news along with her stunning cover. Marci Robin, Allure, "Hayley Hasselhoff Becomes the First Curve Model on a European Playboy Magazine Cover," 14 Apr. 2021 Close your eyes and try to imagine your recliner at home is an airplane seat (hopefully with a bit more legroom!). Cailey Rizzo, Travel + Leisure, "Relive the Best Parts of Air Travel With Virgin Atlantic’s New ASMR Video," 14 Apr. 2021 Haas: Coinbase will continue to grow to become hopefully the primary financial account in the crypto economy for millions and millions of users. Julia Chatterley, CNN, "Coinbase says it's the bitcoin investment for people afraid of buying bitcoin," 14 Apr. 2021 South Africa has also pressed pause, though hopefully only for a few days. David Meyer, Fortune, "CFOs carry the weight of accountability," 14 Apr. 2021 So, in order to give the lander the best chance of surviving until its panels are (hopefully) cleared, NASA has put it in a hibernation mode to save power. Mike Wehner, BGR, "NASA’s Mars InSight lander may be in deep trouble," 14 Apr. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of hopefully

1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hopefully

Time Traveler for hopefully

Time Traveler

The first known use of hopefully was in 1593

See more words from the same year

Statistics for hopefully

Last Updated

18 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hopefully.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hopefully. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for hopefully



English Language Learners Definition of hopefully

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!