insanely or wildly: The old witch cackled madly.
with desperate haste or intensity; furiously: They worked madly to repair the bridge.
foolishly: They lived madly, wasting all their money.
extremely: They're madly in love.

Origin of madly

Middle English word dating back to 1175–1225; see origin at mad, -ly Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for madly

Contemporary Examples of madly

Historical Examples of madly

  • Madly she struggled again and again to get her hind legs to work.

    Johnny Bear

    E. T. Seton

  • It thundered at the town, and thundered at the cliffs, and brought the coast down, madly.

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens

  • How madly I am trusting you; and yet my heart tells me how wisely!

  • You love the Signorina madly, and you hate me because you are jealous of me—because I am young and you are old.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • The Marchesino had told him nothing, except that he—Artois—was madly in love with Vere.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

British Dictionary definitions for madly



in an insane or foolish manner
with great speed and energy
informal extremely or excessivelyI love you madly
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 madly

early 13c., from mad (adj.) + -ly (2). Colloquial meaning "passionately" had emerged by 18c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper