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

If Marvel does reboot the X-Men franchise in the future, hopefully the Phoenix Force will be revisited. Sydney Bucksbaum, refinery29.com, "Dark Phoenix," 8 June 2019 Our preserves did what they were supposed to do and that’s soak up some of that water and hopefully keep it out of people’s basements and their streets. James Krause, Naperville Sun, "Heavy May rain has put Naperville Park District behind on mowing, closed some forest preserve sites," 7 June 2019 The goal is to bring those exams in-house, hopefully making the experience less traumatic for the children and less complicated for the families, State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim said. Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, "State capital bill includes funds for Lake County Children's Advocacy Center," 5 June 2019 Artemis 2, which will be manned, is planned for 2023 and will hopefully take humans to the Lunar Gateway—not quite the deep space for which BioSentinel is testing. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Is Launching Yeast Into Deep Space," 21 May 2019 Her organization is exploring new directions for its research, trying more comprehensive interventions that hopefully have a larger effect size and are easier to study. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "Want to help animals? Focus on corporate decisions, not people’s plates.," 31 Oct. 2018 The Spartans and Nitros have been busy throughout the summer putting together lineup combinations that will hopefully have them in line to contend for league titles next season. Charles Rich, latimes.com, "La Cañada girls' basketball gets best of Glendale," 11 July 2018 The two had as tempestuous a relationship as any in show business, which the series explores, with (hopefully) some fabulous dance sequences. Vogue, "9 Things to Watch in April on Netflix, HBO and More," 29 Mar. 2019 Which means, there’s hopefully plenty more Mandy to come! Megan Stein, Country Living, "'Last Man Standing' Star Molly McCook Pens a Candid Letter About Her Time on the Show," 23 Mar. 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.

See More

First Known Use of hopefully

1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hopefully

Statistics for hopefully

Last Updated

11 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hopefully

The first known use of hopefully was in 1593

See more words from the same year

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).


a tendency to relapse

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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