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


A kindly woman helped him find his way home. brought homemade chicken soup out of kindly concern for my health


She always treats animals kindly. They kindly offered to help us.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Alone, Zain wanders the streets of Beirut, and eventually encounters a kindly worker, Rahil, at an amusement park, who takes pity on him and brings him home. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "In Capernaum, Nadine Labaki Visits Some of the Most Miserable Places on Earth—And Turns It Into Art," 14 Dec. 2018 Elisa Del Genio and Ludovica Nasti Photo: HBO Elena confronts the same problem, only in this case the bitter objections to advanced schooling for a daughter don’t come from her father, a kindly man who works at the city hall. Dorothy Rabinowitz, WSJ, "‘My Brilliant Friend’ Review: Mindful Storytelling," 15 Nov. 2018 His role as a kindly motel manager in The Florida Project netted him his third Best Supporting Actor nomination at last year’s Oscars. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "How Willem Dafoe learned to paint like Vincent Van Gogh," 14 Nov. 2018 Post after post details how a kindly camper owner has cleaned, flushed, and added holding tank deodorant—yet, much to their dismay, a noxious smell still permeates their home on wheels. Megan Barber, Curbed, "RV toilets: Why I’ll never have a bathroom in my camper," 1 Nov. 2018 Who could turn down a kindly war widow collecting nickels or dimes? Shaun Assael, Glamour, "The Secret Fight to Save Confederate Monuments," 16 Aug. 2018 Within minutes after hopping off the bus, she was approached by kindly gentlemen offering her protection, fatherly advice, drinks and hotel rooms. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "True crime: The 'dresser drawer murder' at the Claypool Hotel," 13 July 2018 Helen's family kindly requests, that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to either the CT Humane Society or First Congregational Church of Vernon. Hartford Courant,, "Helen Dyar," 20 May 2018 Later they are taken in by a kindly peasant woman who is raising two sons on her own on a farm, giving way to long summer days of freedom and happiness in the lush countryside. Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms': Film Review | Shanghai 2018," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

But Zinke, a former House Republican, didn’t take kindly to the Democrats’ fighting words, responding with a personal attack against Grijalva — who’s been known to be a regular at a Capitol Hill neighborhood bar, Tune Inn. Tara Golshan, Vox, "A top Democrat said he plans to investigate Ryan Zinke in Congress. Zinke called him a drunk.," 30 Nov. 2018 The fact is that some people are very affectionate and some aren’t, and those who aren’t need to let those who are know it by kindly telling them so. WSJ, "Joe Biden: Being in Touch Without Touching," 12 Apr. 2019 Throughout the night Chopra kindly shared all the backstage action with fans through her Instagram Stories, from the line outside the venue to showgoers sending well-wishes to her husband, Nick. Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "Priyanka Chopra Went to Her First Jonas Brothers Concert and Documented the Whole Thing," 31 Mar. 2019 On this picture, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are accompanied by Vincent Massey and his dog, who kindly carries the Queen's handbag. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth Once Let a Dog Carry Her Handbag," 1 Mar. 2019 Google kindly tried to clear up this confusion in July by adding a DuckDuckGo link to the page. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Google relents and transfers to DuckDuckGo," 12 Dec. 2018 Wall Street didn’t take too kindly to that: Facebook’s stock price dropped nearly 20 percent in after-hours trading. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Facebook stock dives nearly 20% on warning of slow revenue growth," 25 July 2018 Mitchell may have spoken kindly to Ford, but the goal of her questions, ultimately, was to cast doubt on Ford’s account of her experiences. Anna North, Vox, "The Republicans on the committee attempted to change the optics for this hearing, but don’t be fooled.," 27 Sep. 2018 Eugenie's mother, Sarah Ferguson, has also spoken kindly of Jack in the past. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Sarah Ferguson Gave Jack Brooksbank the Most Practical Wedding Gift," 13 Oct. 2018

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

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

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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



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kindly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for kindly

Spanish Central: Translation of kindly

Nglish: Translation of kindly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of kindly for Arabic Speakers

Comments on kindly

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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