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From Middle English hedly, havedlich, from Old English hēafodlīċ (at the top, principal, capital, deadly), equivalent to head +‎ -ly.


headly (comparative more headly, superlative most headly)

  1. (archaic) Chief; principal; capital; (of sins) deadly.
    • 1623, Shakespeare, King Henry V.:
      O'er blows the filthy and contagious clouds Of headly murther, spoil, and villainy.
  2. (archaic) Heady; violent; impetuous.


headly (comparative more headly, superlative most headly)

  1. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) In a headly manner; impetuously; precipitately; headily.
    • 1966, Women on the march - Volume 10 - Page 92:
      Wherein are women less important than men why should their share of inheritance be less than that of men Why should it not be equal. We were discussing this very headly with some people a couple of days ago.