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sad +‎ -ly



sadly (comparative sadlier or more sadly, superlative sadliest or most sadly)

  1. In a sad manner; sorrowfully.
  2. Unfortunately, sad to say.
    If you think you’re getting out of this place alive, you are sadly mistaken, my friend.
    Sadly, the two were never to meet again.
    • 2012 April 15, Phil McNulty, “Tottenham 1-5 Chelsea”, in BBC:
      Before kick-off, a section of Chelsea's support sadly let themselves and their club down by noisily interrupting the silence held in memory of the Hillsborough disaster and for Livorno midfielder Piermario Morosini, who collapsed and died after suffering a heart attack during a Serie B game on Saturday.
  3. (obsolete) Deeply, completely.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter iiij, in Le Morte Darthur, book VI:
      By my feythe sayd syre launcelot in that pauelione wil I lodge alle this nyghte / and soo there he alyghte doune and tayed his hors to the pauelione / and there he vnarmed hym / and there he fond a bedde / and layd hym theryn / and felle on slepe sadly

Usage notesEdit

In sense of “unfortunately”, most often used either in the collocation “sadly mistaken” or as a sentence adverb. See discussion of sentence modifiers at hopefully and regretfully.