ide·​al·​ly | \ ī-ˈdē-ə-lē, -ˈdē(-ə)l-lē\

Definition of ideally

1 : in idea or imagination : mentally
2 : in relation to an exemplar
3a : conformably to or in respect to an ideal : perfectly
b : for best results ideally, the counselor should vary his techniques for each applicant— T. M. Martinez
c : in accordance with an ideal or typical standard : classically

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Examples of ideally in a Sentence

His skills made him ideally suited for the job. They were ideally suited to one another. The ski slope was situated ideally.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Well, 2019 will test that theory, as the administration is reportedly getting set to release its Israeli-Palestinian peace plan next year, ideally before Israel hosts national elections in 2019. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The 7 biggest foreign news stories to watch in 2019, from Brexit to North Korea," 24 Dec. 2018 The vaccination helps create an antibody that then passes through the placenta and ideally protects the baby from the bacterium in pertussis that is dangerous for infants, Pan said. Erin Stone, San Francisco Chronicle, "Whooping cough cases on the rise in Alameda County," 14 June 2018 Then, ideally at the outset of therapy, the individual (or family, couple, organization, etc.) and provider also mutually agree upon a definition of progress that both parties can evaluate over time. SELF, "How Can You Tell if Therapy Is Actually Working?," 11 Dec. 2018 The 34-year-old Marshall was signed as a free agent in the summer to add depth, experience — and, ideally, at 6-4, 229, an imposing red zone target — to a young receiving corps. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks release veteran receiver Brandon Marshall," 30 Oct. 2018 Perelman says one important step that could be added to the new bid process is a municipal or regional referendum, which would offer more transparency and ideally, a better understanding of the financial stakes. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Olympics try more city-friendly bid process: Will it work?," 8 Oct. 2018 In addition to starting out with a low-concentration retinol (ideally, around 0.05 percent), Shah recommends choosing cream formulations because those made of gels or serums tend to be more concentrated. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "How to Use Retinols on Sensitive Skin, According to Dermatologists," 23 Aug. 2018 The two most important steps, the federation advises, are to make monthly credit card and loan payments on time, and to keep your card balances low — ideally, about 25 percent of your credit limit. Ann Carrns, New York Times, "Consumer Group Sees a Rise in People Checking Credit Scores," 22 June 2018 Transit access, ideally, uncouples people from car ownership and reduces traffic congestion and pollution. Jason Laughlin,, "Lansdale exists because of the railroad. Now those tracks may be key to its future," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ideally.' 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 ideally

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for ideally

Last Updated

9 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ideally

The first known use of ideally was in 1598

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More Definitions for ideally



English Language Learners Definition of ideally

: in an ideal way

—used to say what should happen or be done to produce the best results

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More from Merriam-Webster on ideally

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ideally

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ideally

Spanish Central: Translation of ideally

Nglish: Translation of ideally for Spanish Speakers

Comments on ideally

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


to gather or build up little by little

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