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 : in a kind manner : sympathetically
b : as a gesture of goodwill would take it kindly if you would put in a good word : in an appreciative manner She didn't respond kindly to the suggestion.
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
2a dated : readily But he had his gravelled walks, his poets' avenue of yews, that grew kindly, his sundials with their graceful and melancholy admonitions, …— Francis Brett Young At Pisa he saw something both of Trelawny and of Byron, who took to him kindly— Sidney Colvin
b : in the normal way : naturally old wounds which had healed kindlyAmer. Mercury
3 chiefly Southern : somewhat, kind of it's kindly embarrassing— Walter Davis

— see also take kindly to

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 Buddy receives random bits of advice from his kindly grandfather (Ciarán Hinds) and spirited grandmother (Judi Dench). David Sims, The Atlantic, 12 Nov. 2021 During the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Mike DeWine reinforced an image of a kindly but no-nonsense grandfather whose leadership skills came with a helping of benevolent folksiness. Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland, 6 Nov. 2021 Thankfully, the kindly Ms. Collins (Diana Rigg) and a job at a local pub give her some stability. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 29 Oct. 2021 An aspiring clothes designer raised in rural Cornwall by her kindly grandmother (Rita Tushingham), she's plastered her bedroom with posters of Twiggy and Breakfast at Tiffany's and twirls blissfully to the crackling sound of her mother's old LPs. Leah Greenblatt,, 27 Oct. 2021 The central group of game players is straight out of the Hollywood war-movie playbook: the strong and silent leader, the moody outsider, the violent thug, the kindly old guy and the gentle naïf who serves as audience surrogate. New York Times, 11 Oct. 2021 But one kindly hall director gave her a suggestion that changed the course of her career. Donna Provencher, San Antonio Express-News, 1 Oct. 2021 And Ginger Caggiano, that kindly woman behind the wheel, is ready to take her kids to the place where the teachers take over., 12 Sep. 2021 Its ingredients are a boxful of old letters stored in the attic of his house by a bookish and kindly uncle, his sudden death, and a niece who inherits the epistolary bounty. John Banville, The New York Review of Books, 23 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Trump, for his part, didn't take kindly to the criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinion. Aamer Madhani, ajc, 8 Nov. 2021 Bird previously touched down in neighboring La Mesa, but the city did not take kindly to the company showing up one summer evening in 2018 and scattering about 200 scooters across La Mesa. San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Nov. 2021 Landry Shamet didn't take too kindly to being traded the first time when the Philadelphia 76ers shipped him to the Los Angeles Clippers his rookie season in 2018-19. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 30 Sep. 2021 The senior who transferred to be the starter didn’t take kindly to a freshman stealing the job out from under him. Los Angeles Times, 21 Oct. 2021 And the 24-year-old kindly agreed with my request to act as an example for some members of Congress to depict what a normal tourist does. Washington Post, 17 May 2021 The Ear Taxi Festival doesn’t take kindly to being shoved in a nutshell, but that hypothetical comes close. Hannah Edgar,, 6 Oct. 2021 The family kindly requests that masks be worn at the calling hours and the funeral service. Shawn Mcfarland,, 11 Aug. 2021 The city of Portland kindly requests folks don’t do that. oregonlive, 5 Apr. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near kindly

kindling wood


kindly tenant

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Statistics for kindly

Last Updated

24 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Kindly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for kindly



English Language Learners Definition of kindly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



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?

More from Merriam-Webster on kindly

Nglish: Translation of kindly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of kindly for Arabic Speakers


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