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[aw-fuh-lee, awf-lee] /ˈɔ fə li, ˈɔf li/
very; extremely:
That was awfully nice of you. He's awfully slow.
in a manner provoking censure, disapproval, or the like:
She behaved awfully all evening.
  1. in a manner inspiring awe:
    shouting awfully the dreaded curse.
  2. in a manner expressing awe:
    to stare awfully.
Origin of awfully
1350-1400; Middle English auefulli; see awful, -ly
Usage note
See awful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for awfully
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "awfully good of you to come in, sir," he said, as he scrambled to his feet.

    The Brass Bottle F. Anstey
  • "You're awfully good, Tom," she said and Tom's heart swelled at the softness of her tone.

    Tutors' Lane Wilmarth Lewis
  • I was awfully interested in seeing how the goat and the clerk got on.

    What Happened to Inger Johanne Dikken Zwilgmeyer
  • "You'd be most awfully disagreeable to live with," he returned.

    Teddy: Her Book Anna Chapin Ray
  • If you say she was awfully kind and gentle to you about it that might help a bit.

    The Tower of Oblivion Oliver Onions
British Dictionary definitions for awfully


/ˈɔːfəlɪ; ˈɔːflɪ/
in an unpleasant, bad, or reprehensible manner
(informal) (intensifier): I'm awfully keen to come
(archaic) so as to express or inspire awe
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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Word Origin and History for awfully

c.1300, "so as to inspire reverence," from awful + -ly (2). Meaning "dreadfully, so as to strike one with awe" is recorded from late 14c. As a simple intensifier, "very, exceedingly," recorded from c.1830.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for awfully



Very; very much: It's awfully dark here

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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