See more synonyms for highly on Thesaurus.com
  1. in or to a high degree; extremely: highly amusing; highly seasoned food.
  2. with high appreciation or praise; admiringly: to speak highly of a person.
  3. more than adequately; generously: a highly paid consultant.

Origin of highly

before 900; Middle English heihliche, Old English hēalīce. See high, -ly
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for highly


  1. (intensifier)highly pleased; highly disappointed
  2. with great approbation or favourwe spoke highly of it
  3. in a high positionplaced highly in class
  4. at or for a high price or cost
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 highly

Old English healice "nobly, gloriously, honorably;" see high (adj.) + -ly (1). Meaning "very, very much, fully" is mid-14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper