kind·​ly | \ ˈkīn(d)-lē How to pronounce kindly (audio) \
kindlier; kindliest

Definition of kindly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of a sympathetic or generous nature
2 : of an agreeable or beneficial nature : pleasant a kindly climate
3a obsolete : natural
b archaic : lawful



Definition of kindly (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : readily did not take kindly to suggestions
b : in the normal way : naturally old wounds which had healed kindlyAmer. Mercury
2a : in a kind manner : sympathetically
b : as a gesture of goodwill would take it kindly if you would put in a good word
c : in a gracious manner : courteously they kindly invited us along
d : as a matter of courtesy : please would you kindly order me a cab
3 chiefly Southern : somewhat, kind of it's kindly embarrassing— Walter Davis

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Examples of kindly in a Sentence

Adjective A kindly woman helped him find his way home. brought homemade chicken soup out of kindly concern for my health Adverb She always treats animals kindly. They kindly offered to help us.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective My late father, a kindly internist with a deep Southern drawl and the improbable name of Dr. Tom Fite Paine, guided my 1950s and ’60s childhood with polite rules intended to counteract the spread of contagious illnesses. Grace Paine Terzian, WSJ, "A Car Key Can Save You From the Virus," 9 Mar. 2020 Upon arrival in Alaska, Buck is quickly scooped up by a kindly French Canadian couple (played by Omar Sy and Cara Gee) looking to replace a dog on their Yukon mail delivery team. Weldon B. Johnson, azcentral, "'The Call of the Wild' offers Harrison Ford, cool CGI dogs and Alaska's natural beauty," 19 Feb. 2020 His job proves exhausting and dispiriting over the years, but his kindly boss comes through with a retirement pension. Sarah Ruden, National Review, "Living Virtuously and Writing Well," 23 Jan. 2020 The kindly vet hadn’t come prepared for this drastic action. V. S. Naipaul, The New Yorker, "The Strangeness of Grief," 30 Dec. 2019 But this week, the kindly image CGL had crafted in its P.R. campaign fell away to make the company’s colonial prerogatives clear. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "The Colonizer Always Comes Out," 17 Jan. 2020 On the other hand, the Lakers have benefited from a kindly road schedule during the streak. New York Times, "Lakers and LeBron James Can Tie Road Wins Record This Week," 16 Dec. 2019 Jeremy Corbyn isn’t some kind of kindly magic Grandpa. Anna Russell, The New Yorker, "A Tired Britain Trudges to the Polls," 12 Dec. 2019 As the kindly proprietor of a dive bar, Lange witnesses some bizarre behavior on Christmas Eve. Christopher Arnott,, "Expect a few ‘Love Boat’ surprises from the new bartender in ’Christmas on the Rocks’ at TheaterWorks," 27 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Despite the pouring rain, Meghan opted out of wearing a coat and Prince Harry kindly shielded her from the pouring rain with an umbrella. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Wore a Bold Cerulean Dress at the Endeavour Fund Awards," 5 Mar. 2020 Some Republican senators have not taken kindly to the contents of Paul's questions. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Rand Paul walks out of Senate after question is rejected in impeachment trial," 30 Jan. 2020 First, Warren committed a foul on Butler that the Miami Heat star didn't take kindly to. Scott Horner, Indianapolis Star, "Pacers vs. Heat: Jimmy Butler has a message for T.J. Warren after confrontations," 9 Jan. 2020 The film is in 3-D, though the rabbit-sized mollusks don’t take kindly to the blue and red glasses, says Trevor Wardill, a visual ecologist at the University of Minnesota. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Scientists Velcroed 3-D Glasses to Cuttlefish to Study Their Depth Perception," 8 Jan. 2020 Mergers were looked upon more kindly by trustbusters. The Economist, "How T. Boone Pickens changed corporate finance in America," 19 Sep. 2019 In a city with more pressing issues to address, the arguments over our official symbol have been, to put it kindly, an unfortunate distraction. John Gurda, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "It may be the People's Flag for much of Milwaukee, but that wasn't good enough for the Common Council," 6 Feb. 2020 Democrats had been hoping to bring in former national security adviser John Bolton to provide more evidence in the trial, and Toobin implied that the history books will not reflect kindly on the GOP’s successful push to deny Bolton the opportunity. Andrew Mark Miller, Washington Examiner, "CNN legal analyst on Trump's impeachment: 'Trump won'," 1 Feb. 2020 The family kindly request that in lieu of flowers donations be made in Suzanne's name to The Sussman House, 40 Anchor Drive, Rockport, ME., "Suzanne E. Pedretti," 10 July 2019

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for kindly


Middle English, from Old English cyndelīc, from cynd

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Time Traveler for kindly

Time Traveler

The first known use of kindly was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

18 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Kindly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for kindly


How to pronounce kindly (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of kindly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having or showing a gentle nature and a desire to help others



English Language Learners Definition of kindly (Entry 2 of 2)

: in a kind way
used to make a formal request sometimes used in making a request that is caused by annoyance


kind·​ly | \ ˈkīnd-lē How to pronounce kindly (audio) \
kindlier; kindliest

Kids Definition of kindly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2 : pleasant or wholesome in nature The cool and kindly breath of evening entered through doors and windows.— E. B. White, Charlotte's Web

Other Words from kindly

kindliness noun



Kids Definition of kindly (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : in a sympathetic manner The principal treated him kindly.
2 : in a willing manner We didn't take kindly to the change in schedule.
3 : in an appreciative manner I would take it kindly if you could help me.
4 : in an obliging manner Would you kindly take your seat?

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More from Merriam-Webster on kindly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for kindly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kindly

Spanish Central: Translation of kindly

Nglish: Translation of kindly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of kindly for Arabic Speakers

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