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1. In a hopeful manner: We began our journey hopefully.
2. Usage Problem It is to be hoped.
Usage Note: "Hopefully, the senator will vote for the bill." Is this sentence saying that one hopes the senator will vote a certain way? Or is it declaring that when the senator votes, it will be done in a hopeful manner? In the first case, the word modifies the entire sentence (functioning as what is known as a sentence adverb) and means "It is to be hoped." In the second case, it modifies the verb phrase "will vote" and means "in a hopeful manner." Since the 1960s, when hopefully became something of a vogue word, its use as a sentence adverb has been roundly criticized on the grounds that it can be ambiguous (which meaning is intended?) and that the bearer of hope is not explicitly indicated (who is hopeful)? It is unclear, however, why hopefully was singled out for criticism. Many other adverbs, such as mercifully and frankly, are regularly used as sentence adverbs: Mercifully, the play was brief. Frankly, the food at that restaurant is terrible. The widespread use of hopefully in similar constructions reflects popular recognition of its usefulness; there is no precise substitute. Someone who says Hopefully, the treaty will be ratified makes a hopeful prediction about the fate of the treaty, whereas someone who says I hope (or We hope or It is hoped that) the treaty will be ratified expresses a bald statement about what is desired. Only the latter could be continued with a clause such as but it isn't likely. · People often warm to a usage once its novelty fades and it becomes well established. Resistance to this usage has waned over the years, but the gradual path to acceptance has taken much longer than other style choices that were bugbears in the 1960s, such as using impact or contact as verbs. In 1999, 34 percent of the Usage Panel accepted the sentence Hopefully, the treaty will be ratified. In 2012, 63 percent accepted this same sentence. But a significantly larger percentage—89 percent—accepted a comparable use of mercifully in 2012, indicating that it is not the use of hopefully as a sentence adverb per se that bothers the Panel. Rather, hopefully appears to be serving as a shibboleth to reveal whether a speaker is aware of the traditional canons of usage.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. in a hopeful manner
2. informal it is hoped: hopefully they will be here soon.
Usage: The use of hopefully to mean it is hoped used to be considered incorrect by some people but has now become acceptable in informal contexts
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈhoʊp fə li)

1. in a hopeful manner.
2. it is hoped; if all goes well: Hopefully, we will win.
usage: Although some strongly object to it as a sentence modifier, hopefully meaning “it is hoped (that)” has been in use since the 1930s and is standard in all varieties of speech and writing. This use of hopefully parallels that of certainly, curiously, frankly, regrettably, and other sentence modifiers.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. used after a verb

If you do something hopefully, you do it hoping that a particular thing will happen.

She continued to gaze hopefully in their direction.
For the first time in a long time, she smiles hopefully.

This use of hopefully occurs mainly in books, rather than in conversation.

2. used as a sentence adverb

Hopefully is much more commonly a sentence adverb. You add hopefully to a statement to indicate that you hope that what you are saying is true or will be true.

Hopefully, future fossil-hunters will unearth some evidence to resolve this question.
They've learnt a few lessons which, hopefully, will put them back on track.

This use of hopefully is fairly new in British English, and some people object to it. However, it is now very common in conversation and writing. No other English adverb can be used with the same meaning.

Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.hopefully - with hope; in a hopeful manner; "we searched hopefully for a good position"
hopelessly - without hope; desperate because there seems no possibility of comfort or success; "he hung his head hopelessly"; "`I must die,' he said hopelessly"
2.hopefully - it is hoped; "hopefully the weather will be fine on Sunday"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. optimistically, confidently, expectantly, with anticipation, sanguinely 'Am I welcome?' He smiled hopefully.
2. (Informal) it is hoped, probably, all being well, God willing, conceivably, feasibly, expectedly Hopefully, you won't have any problems after reading this.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
بِالأَمَلِبصورة فيها أمَلكما نأمَل، من المأمول
doufejmenadějněs nadějíže
s nadom
meî vonvonandi
dúfajmes nádejou
umutlainşallahumarım kiümitle
hy vọng rằng


[ˈhəʊpfʊlɪ] ADV
1. (= with feeling of hope) "is he coming with us?" I asked hopefully-¿viene con nosostros? -pregunté esperanzado
I looked hopefully around the room for a glimpse of my luggagemiré por la habitación con esperanzas de ver mi equipaje
she smiled at me hopefullyme dirigió una sonrisa esperanzada
2. (= one hopes) hopefully we'll be able to sort something outcon un poco de suerte podremos arreglar algo
the new legislation, hopefully, will lead to some improvementses de esperar que la nueva legislación traiga consigo algunas mejoras
hopefully, it won't rainesperemos que no llueva
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈhəʊpfʊli] adv
(used as sentence adverb) (= let's hope that) → avec un peu de chance
Hopefully he'll make it in time → Avec un peu de chance, il arrivera à temps.
Hopefully, they'll come back → Avec un peu de chance, ils reviendront.
(= optimistically) → avec espoir, avec optimisme
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


ask, look, sayhoffnungsvoll; I looked hopefully around for a glimpse of my luggageich sah mich um, in der Hoffnung, mein Gepäck zu erspähen
(inf: introducing sentence or as answer: = with any luck) → hoffentlich
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈhəʊpfəlɪ] adv
a. (optimistically, speak) → con ottimismo, con speranza
to look hopefully at sb → guardare speranzoso/a qn
b. (one hopes, incorrect use) → si spera
hopefully he will recover → speriamo che si riprenda
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(həup) verb
to want something to happen and have some reason to believe that it will or might happen. He's very late, but we are still hoping he will come; I hope to be in London next month; We're hoping for some help from other people; It's unlikely that he'll come now, but we keep on hoping; `Do you think it will rain?' `I hope so/not'.
1. (any reason or encouragement for) the state of feeling that what one wants will or might happen. He has lost all hope of becoming the president; He came to see me in the hope that I would help him; He has hopes of winning a scholarship; The rescuers said there was no hope of finding anyone alive in the mine.
2. a person, thing etc that one is relying on for help etc. He's my last hope – there is no-one else I can ask.
3. something hoped for. My hope is that he will get married and settle down soon.
ˈhopeful adjective
1. (negative unhopeful) full of hope. The police are hopeful that they will soon find the killer; hopeful faces; He is hopeful of success.
2. giving a reason or encouragement for hope. That's a hopeful sign – perhaps he is going to change his mind after all.
3. likely to be pleasant, successful etc. The future looks quite hopeful.
ˈhopefulness noun
ˈhopefully adverb
1. in a hopeful way. The dog looked hopefully at the joint of meat.
2. it is to be hoped that. Hopefully, that will never happen.
ˈhopeless adjective
1. not likely to be successful. It's hopeless to try to persuade him; a hopeless attempt; The future looks hopeless.
2. (with at) not good. I'm a hopeless housewife; He's hopeless at French.
3. unable to be stopped, cured etc. The doctors considered the patient's case hopeless; He's a hopeless liar/idiot.
ˈhopelessly adverb
ˈhopelessness noun
hope against hope
to continue hoping when there is no (longer any) reason for hope.
hope for the best
to hope that something will succeed, that nothing bad will happen etc.
not (have) a hope
(to be) completely unlikely (to succeed in something). He hasn't a hope of getting the job; `Will he get the job?' `Not a hope!'
raise someone's hopes
to cause someone to hope, usually when there is no good reason to.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


بِالأَمَلِ nadějně forhåbentlig hoffnungsvoll ελπίζω con suerte toivottavasti avec espoir s nadom fiduciosamente 希望を持って 바라건대 hopelijk forhåpentligvis jak dobrze pójdzie esperançosamente с надеждой förhoppningsvis ด้วยความหวังว่าจะสมหวัง umutla hy vọng rằng 但愿
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
He had argued, pleaded, rebuked, and ignored by turns; and always and through all he had prayed--earnestly, hopefully. But to-day miserably he was forced to own that matters were no better, but rather worse.
But ere her commander, who, with trumpet to mouth, stood up in his boat; ere he could hopefully hail, Ahab's voice was heard.
It would be best to dismiss the subject for the present, and to wait hopefully till the summer came.
"You will allow me," he said hopefully, "to walk a little way with you?"
"An' I ain't goin' to butt in," he added hopefully. "You just watch 'm for himself."
"I thought," went on Chunk hopefully, "that if I had one of them powders to give Rosy when I see her at supper to-night it might brace her up and keep her from reneging on the proposition to skip.
It is the shadow of pain which touches the young face with such pathetic patience, but Beth seldom complains and always speaks hopefully of `being better soon'.
The door stood open, and a woman and a girl of fourteen ran out and looked up at us hopefully. A little girl trailed along behind them.
Hopefully, but a moment ago, as Hester had spoken of drowning it in the deep sea, there was a sense of inevitable doom upon her as she thus received back this deadly symbol from the hand of fate.
"Don't fear," said his wife, hopefully. "The good Lord would not have brought us so far, if he didn't mean to carry us through.
When we gradually fell into keeping late hours and late company, I noticed that he looked about him with a desponding eye at breakfast-time; that he began to look about him more hopefully about mid-day; that he drooped when he came into dinner; that he seemed to descry Capital in the distance rather clearly, after dinner; that he all but realized Capital towards midnight; and that at about two o'clock in the morning, he became so deeply despondent again as to talk of buying a rifle and going to America, with a general purpose of compelling buffaloes to make his fortune.
These I made up into bales, and stored them into a safe place upon the beach, and then waited hopefully for the passing of a ship.