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Supposedly vs. Supposably


a suffixal use of wise2. in adverbs denoting manner, position, direction, reference, etc.:
counterclockwise; edgewise; marketwise; timewise.
Compare -ways.
Usage note
The suffix -wise is old in the language in adverbs referring to manner, direction, etc.: crosswise; lengthwise. Coinages like marketwise, saleswise, and weatherwise are often criticized, perhaps because of their association with the media: Otherwise—or moneywise, as they were already saying in the motion-picture industry—Hollywood was at the crest of its supercolossal glory. This suffix should not be confused with the adjective wise1, which appears in such compound words as streetwise and worldly-wise. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for -wise


combining form
Also -ways. indicating direction or manner: clockwise, likewise
with reference to: profitwise, businesswise
Word Origin
Old English -wisan; see wise²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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