ini·​tial·​ly i-ˈni-sh(ə-)lē How to pronounce initially (audio)
: at the beginning : at first
The reason I initially came here was to find work.
It turned out that the situation was not as serious as we had initially believed.
Initially, the symptoms are mild.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The outcome marks a major win for McCarthy, who overcame discontent from the right flank of his party and squeezed spending concessions out of the White House after Biden initially refused to negotiate. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, 1 June 2023 Some arrests, including for low-level amounts of marijuana during traffic stops, appeared to have little to do with border security, and some Texas National Guard troops initially complained of low morale, late paychecks and having little to do. Sarah Rankin, ajc, 1 June 2023 The decision was initially met with excitement from investors, but that soon changed into skepticism. Byprarthana Prakash, Fortune, 31 May 2023 Jankowski, a senior attacker, initially thought Peterson, a redshirt junior attacker, was in pain after absorbing a stick to the head. Edward Lee, Baltimore Sun, 31 May 2023 The Athletic initially reported the Pistons' ongoing interest and the range of their potential contract offer. Andrew Birkle, Detroit Free Press, 31 May 2023 The bill initially banned Chinese citizens, including those living and working in Alabama, from buying property in the state. Mike Cason |, al, 31 May 2023 Mikesell initially kept records for himself but began to recognize his accomplishment later in life, and hoped future generations might use his data. Robin Donovan, Smithsonian Magazine, 31 May 2023 This period began in mid-January after the debt ceiling was initially breached. Elisabeth Buchwald, CNN, 31 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'initially.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1628, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of initially was circa 1628

Dictionary Entries Near initially

Cite this Entry

“Initially.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on initially

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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