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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

But that’s true of so many sources of income that journalists rely on already: ad revenue from Google AMP clicks; inscrutable deals with OTT providers; kindly billionaires; and so on. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Amazon’s Twitter ambassadors are blurring the line between fact and fiction," 16 Aug. 2019 Of course the dog has more latitude than Emma to flee into nature and take up with a kindly game warden, which is part of the point. Dan Chiasson, The New York Review of Books, "True Mirages," 6 June 2019 That desperation culminates with a scene in which Sequin reaches out to his father at the behest of Virginia (Anthony Brandon Wong), the kindly drag queen who takes him in at his lowest ebb. Harry Windsor, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Sequin in a Blue Room': Film Review | Outfest 2019," 22 July 2019 To share your favorite memories of Colonel Hutchison or to express your condolences to his family, please visit In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests memorial contributions to the National Park Service. Orlando Sentinel,, "Deaths in Central Florida: 6/16," 16 June 2019 The headmistress is seated at her desk, back to the door at which kindly teacher Miss Honey nervously knocks. Deborah Martin,, "Villains are scene stealers in ‘Matilda,’ ‘Beauty and the Beast’," 18 July 2019 The cult of the Lost Cause embraced an apocryphal history suffused with nostalgia for a world of valorous Confederates, kindly masters, and contented slaves. Drew Gilpin Faust, The Atlantic, "Race, History, and Memories of a Virginia Girlhood," 18 July 2019 Dan meets grandma Lea in her hometown of Vienna, which proves less wrenching than the kindly nonagenarian expects. Gary Goldstein,, "Review: Israelis moving to Europe face family conflict in ‘Back to the Fatherland’," 26 June 2019 Brian Tyree Henry once again makes the most of his small role as a kindly cop. Mark Kennedy, Detroit Free Press, "New ‘Child’s Play’ full of seriously scary fun," 20 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Some on Twitter did not take kindly to McConnell's speech. Ben Tobin, The Courier-Journal, "#MoscowMitchMcTreason trends one day after Mitch McConnell lashes out at 'McCarthyism'," 30 July 2019 Maybe a trip to the countryside will help the family unite, but Max is a city pup and some of these farmyard critters don’t take kindly to a furry foreigner. Guy Hanford, Ramona Sentinel, "Flickers: ‘The Lion King’ leads in box office," 24 July 2019 Many of The_Donald’s commenters have not taken kindly to the decision to restrict the subreddit. Tara Law, Time, "Reddit Places a 'Quarantine' on The_Donald, Its Largest Community of Trump Supporters," 28 June 2019 Even now, at a kindly, grandfatherly 82, Robert Redford is resolutely not one of those people. Marley Marius, Vogue, "An Ode to Robert Redford, on What May Be His Retirement From Acting," 25 Sep. 2018 Stott was a shrimp, to put it kindly, growing up in Las Vegas. Scott Lauber,, "UNLV coach describes Phillies first-round pick Bryson Stott as a polished hitter," 4 June 2019 That likely wouldn’t feel very good for you, so try thinking about your partner’s genitals more kindly. Vanessa Marin, Allure, "Uncircumcised Penises Are Totally Normal, and It's Not OK To Shame a Partner Who's Uncut," 13 Sep. 2018 Also, in one especially moving and well-written scene, Dawkins’ 7-year-old mother, Beth, gets lost at Disneyland and has a heartrending breakdown in front of the park’s kindly, costumed Cinderella. Pam Kragen,, "At Diversionary, 'The Happiest Place on Earth' portrays family drama, and it's no Cinderella story," 25 Mar. 2018 The gods loom large throughout the story, from earth mother Asaka (charismatic Leslie Ivy) to Erzulie, goddess of love (kindly Natalie Oei). Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News, "Review: Sunny songs, brutal story — that ‘s ‘Once on this Island’ in El Cerrito," 5 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about kindly

Statistics for kindly

Last Updated

20 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for kindly

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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?

Keep scrolling for more

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).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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