[ uh-pair-uhnt-lee ]
/ əˈpɛər ənt li /
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as far as can be known or supposed: I discussed both options with the litigants, and they are apparently agreeable to either one.
obviously; clearly: Apparently, the tornado went right through the center of the town’s eastern district.
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Origin of apparently

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English; apparent + -ly
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does apparently mean?

Apparently means seemingly so based on the appearance of things. It’s a way of saying “it seems that” something is the case or is true.

Apparently is the adverb form of the adjective apparent, which can mean readily seen, clear, obvious, or according to appearances. Apparently is most often used in this last sense—referring to things that appear a certain way but may not actually be so. In this way, apparently is often used as a sentence modifier, meaning that it modifies or changes the meaning of the entire sentence. It does this by qualifying the rest of the statement, as in We owe $500, apparently. 

It can also be used as a sentence substitute, meaning it can be used as a one-word response to a question.

Example: Apparently, the store is closed, at least according to what Jim told me—I’ll double check.

Where does apparently come from?

The first records of apparently come from the second half of the 1300s. It comes from the Latin apparens, meaning “appearing.”

Things that we describe as apparently true appear to be true, but we’re not sure if they’re definitely true—that’s why we used the word apparently. A reporter broadcasting live on TV might use the word to qualify a statement based on reports that have not been fully confirmed, as in The suspect has apparently been caught. The word is used in everyday conversation in the same way—to discuss something that was not witnessed firsthand, as in I was out sick today, but apparently the math test was really hard. 

Often, the word is used to qualify an entire statement. In this case, it often comes at the very beginning or end of the sentence (though it can also be placed elsewhere), as in I’m going to be promoted, apparently (indicating that you’ve somehow heard that it will happen but that it’s not official yet). Similarly, it can be used as a one-word answer meaning “it seems that way.” For example, if someone asks if you’re getting promoted, you could say, “Apparently.”

Sometimes, the word is used to express doubt or suspicion, as in That’s apparently what happened, but I’m skeptical. It can also be used to express annoyance, as in We were going to start the meeting on time, but apparently you forgot how to read a clock.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to apparently?

  • apparent (adjective)

What are some synonyms for apparently?

What are some words that share a root or word element with apparently

What are some words that often get used in discussing apparently?

How is apparently used in real life?

Apparently is very commonly used and can be found at the beginning, middle, or end or a sentence. Sometimes it expresses doubt or irritation with the situation.



Try using apparently!

Which of the following terms is NOT a synonym of apparently?

A. according to appearances
B. definitely
C. seemingly
D. evidently

How to use apparently in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for apparently

/ (əˈpærəntlɪ, əˈpɛər-) /

(sentence modifier) it appears that; as far as one knows; seemingly
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