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 His large glasses and thick mustache made the professor look more like a kindly retiree than the towering intellectual whom friends had raved about. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Remembering Juan Gómez Quiñones, Chicano studies legend and professor to all of L.A.," 17 Nov. 2020 Friends described Jonsen as a kindly, witty philosopher who posed questions to doctors and urged them to find the path forward for themselves. Steve Rubenstein,, "Albert Jonsen, a founding scholar of bioethics and S.F. native, dies at 89," 29 Oct. 2020 But Peter Hartlaub, an otherwise paranormal skeptic, is convinced the archive is haunted — by both kindly ghosts that file photo requests from the past and more devious spirits that surface cursed and creepy images. Taylor Kate Brown,, "Bay Briefing: The biggest wildfire threat to homes is something very small," 23 Oct. 2020 As in its source material, tragedy drives the story forward—his parents are killed in a car accident, and his kindly, eccentric grandmother comes to collect him. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "The New Adaptation of The Witches Is Almost Too Much Fun," 22 Oct. 2020 Joey and Dom are about to really get into it when a kindly basketball coach separates them, but the moment the coach is out of earshot, Dom bursts into the locker room, ready to call Joey out. Lydia Wang,, "R29 Binge Club: Netflix’s Grand Army Recaps," 19 Oct. 2020 The kindly moon beloved of little children was also the confidante of lovers, but this too was threatened by the specter of Soviet space surveillance. Popular Science, "Landing on the moon only made us love it more," 12 Oct. 2020 At least one was described as a kindly neighbor, who was often seen with his mom and polite children., "13 men charged in alleged kidnapping plot, many with troubled pasts," 8 May 2015 In 1927 President Lowell of Harvard, a kindly man of unblemished private life, put his name to the report that sent Sacco and Vanzetti to their death. John Dos Passos, National Review, "Reminiscences of a Middle-Class Radical," 28 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Unsurprisingly, some recipients didn't take too kindly to the call-to-action given the latest surge in the pandemic. Sara Ashley O'brien, CNN, "Lyft's Thanksgiving travel push receives backlash amid worsening pandemic," 18 Nov. 2020 Iconoclastic, often-liberal journalists like Sullivan, Bari Weiss, Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi — not Breitbart or Washington Examiner staffers — think significant elements of the modern left have lost their way, to put it kindly. Chris Reed San Diego Union-tribune (tns), Star Tribune, "Who is Trumpisim's heir apparent?," 13 Nov. 2020 Owners with egos and billions at stake might not take kindly if the results aren’t there right away. New York Times, "The Sixers Need to Be Patient. For Real, This Time.," 2 Nov. 2020 Historian Michael Beschloss framed this as a moment of truth not just for Trump but for other prominent officials, suggesting history would not look kindly on those who look the other way. Nancy Benac, Star Tribune, "Analysis: Trump's vote diatribe both shocking, unsurprising," 6 Nov. 2020 The bridezilla didn't take too kindly to being roasted in the speech from her bridesmaids, Snooki, Deena, and Jenni. Derek Lawrence,, "Watch Jersey Shore Family Vacation rent out entire hotel in quarantine season 4 trailer," 26 Oct. 2020 Nazer, who chronicles her projects on Instagram, said most of her work has been destroyed by authorities who don't take kindly to criticism of the government. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "A Lebanese artist created an inspiring statue out of glass and rubble from the Beirut port explosion," 25 Oct. 2020 Exxon did not take kindly to being used as an example, and tweeted its terse reply. al, "Exxon: Trump’s so-called $25 million campaign donation ‘never happened’," 20 Oct. 2020 Whether regulators will take kindly to Uniswap remains to be seen. Olga Kharif,, "DeFi Boom Makes Uniswap Most Sought-After Crypto Exchange," 16 Oct. 2020

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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Statistics for kindly

Last Updated

23 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Kindly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 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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