a suffix forming adverbs from adjectives: gladly; gradually; secondly. See grammar note at adverb
a suffix meaning “every,” attached to certain nouns denoting units of time: hourly; daily.
an adjective suffix meaning “-like”: saintly; cowardly.

(adv.) Middle English -li, -lich(e), Old English -līce (-līc adj. suffix + -e adv. suffix); (adj.) Middle English -li, -ly, -lich(e), Old English -līc (cognate with German -lich), suffixal use of gelīc like1

3. See -ish1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To -ly
World English Dictionary
suffix forming adjectives
1.  having the nature or qualities of: brotherly; godly
2.  occurring at certain intervals; every: daily; yearly
[Old English -lic]

suffix forming adverbs
in a certain manner; to a certain degree: quickly; recently; chiefly
[Old English -lice, from -lic-ly1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

suffix forming adjectives from nouns, "having qualities of, appropriate to, fitting," irregularly descended from O.E. -lic, from P.Gmc. *-liko- (cf. O.Fris. -lik, Du. -lijk, O.H.G. -lih, Ger. -lich, O.N. -ligr), related to *likom- "appearance, form" (cf. O.E. lich "corpse, body;" see
lich, which is a cognate; cf. also like (adj.), with which it is identical).

adv. ending, from O.E. -lice, from P.Gmc. *-liko- (cf. O.Fris. -like, O.S. -liko, Du. -lijk, O.H.G. -licho, Ger. -lich, O.N. -liga, Goth. -leiko); see -ly (1). Cognate with lich, and identical with like (adj.).
"It is curious that Teut[onic] uses 'body' for the adv. formation, while Rom[anic] uses 'mind,' e.g. F. constamment = L. constanti mente." [Weekley]
The modern English form emerged in late M.E., probably from influence of O.N. -liga.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Nearby Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature