hopefully

 Much ink has been expended arguing whether the word is acceptable when used in an absolute sense, as in "Hopefully the sun will shine tomorrow." Many usage authorities argue that that sentence should be recast as "It is to be hoped that the sun will shine tomorrow" or something similar. However, other authorities say that such a stand is pedantic and inconsistent, since no one objects to other -ly words, such as apparently, sadly, thankfully, and mercifully, being used absolutely. I side with the second group, but you should be aware that the use of hopefully in an absolute sense is still widely, and often hotly, objected to.

Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • hopefully — 1. This has been used since the 17c as a straightforward adverb of manner: • As lovers do, as lovers will, they travelled hopefully to Paris Maurice Gee, 1985 • Out on the corridor, Nurse Bodkin was hovering hopefully near a suspended piece of… …   Modern English usage

  • Hopefully — Hope ful*ly, adv. 1. In a hopeful manner. [PJC] 2. I hope; if all goes well; as, hopefully, the dress will be ready before the party. Note: Some prescriptivists object to this usage as being ungrammatical, but it is very common and well… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hopefully — hopefully; un·hopefully; …   English syllables

  • hopefully — ► ADVERB 1) in a hopeful manner. 2) it is to be hoped that. USAGE The traditional sense of hopefully is ‘in a hopeful manner’. In the 20th century a new use arose, with the meaning ‘it is to be hoped that’. Although this newer use is now very… …   English terms dictionary

  • hopefully — [hōp′fəl ē] adv. 1. in a hopeful manner 2. it is to be hoped (that) [to leave early, hopefully by six] …   English World dictionary

  • hopefully — 1630s, in a hopeful manner, from HOPEFUL (Cf. hopeful) + LY (Cf. ly) (2). As a replacement for the admittedly awkward it is to be hoped that attested from 1932 but avoided by careful writers …   Etymology dictionary

  • hopefully — adverb 1) he rode on hopefully Syn: optimistically, full of hope, confidently, buoyantly, sanguinely; expectantly 2) hopefully it will finish soon Syn: if all goes well, God willing, with luck, with any luck; most l …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • hopefully —     To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive. Seventy or eighty years ago that sentence by Robert Louis Stevenson would have suggested only one interpretation: that it is better to travel filled with hope than to actually reach your… …   Dictionary of troublesome word

  • hopefully — /hohp feuh lee/, adv. 1. in a hopeful manner: We worked hopefully and energetically, thinking we might finish first. 2. it is hoped; if all goes well: Hopefully, we will get to the show on time. [1630 40; HOPEFUL + LY] Usage. Although some… …   Universalium

  • hopefully — adverb Date: 1593 1. in a hopeful manner 2. it is hoped ; I hope ; we hope < hopefully the rain will end soon > Usage: In the 1960s the second sense of hopefully, which dates to the early 18th century and had been in fairly widespread use since… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • hopefully — [[t]ho͟ʊpfʊli[/t]] ADV: ADV with cl/group You say hopefully when mentioning something that you hope will happen. Some careful speakers of English think that this use of hopefully is not correct, but it is very frequently used. Both of them have… …   English dictionary

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