awfully

[aw-fuh-lee, awf-lee]

adverb

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.
Archaic.
  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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


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British Dictionary definitions for awfully

awfully

adverb

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

Word Origin and History for awfully
adv.

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