Last modified on 13 July 2014, at 22:23



Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.

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From Middle English fērlī (astonishing, surprising, unexpected), from Old English fǣrliċ (sudden, unexpected), equivalent to fear +‎ -ly.


ferly (uncountable)

  1. (obsolete) Astonishment, surprise, wonder, wonderfulness, unexpected.
    • 1893, George MacDonald, Heather and Snow:
      “Weel, lassie, I reckon that wasna ony ferly (strange occurrence)!
  2. (obsolete, in the phrase "no ferly") No wonder, not surprisingly.


ferly (not comparable)

  1. (obsolete) Unexpected, sudden, terrible, amazing, great or numerous, very.
    Seems ferly fair to all admiring orbs …Arabian Nights