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Famous Last Words


[hap-uh-lee] /ˈhæp ə li/
in a happy manner; with pleasure.
by good fortune; luckily; providentially.
felicitously; aptly; appropriately:
a happily turned phrase.
Origin of happily
Middle English word dating back to 1300-50; See origin at happy, -ly
Related forms
overhappily, adverb
Can be confused
hapless, haply, happily. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for happily
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But I have another trouble than that, which has been happily averted.

    The Lost Treasure of Trevlyn Evelyn Everett-Green
  • The ride on Tuesday was happily accomplished, as that of Monday: but it was much shorter.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • happily, neither war nor business nor fish-hogs can ruin the wonderful climate of Catalina Island.

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
  • happily it was a good horse, or the fate of the world might have been different.

    The World Peril of 1910 George Griffith
  • happily for Henry, he was well mounted, and on being attacked, defended himself so resolutely that he escaped almost by a miracle.

Word Origin and History for happily

mid-14c., "by chance or accident," from happy + -ly (2). Meaning "fortunate, lucky" is late 14c.; that of "appropriately" is from 1570s. Happily ever after recorded by 1853.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with happily
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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