Definition of sadly in English:



  • 1In a sad manner.

    ‘he smiled sadly’
    • ‘Always a cheerful smile for all he met, he will be sadly missed by his many friends and neighbors.’
    • ‘He smiled at me sadly and we followed the carriage with my dad's casket around the town.’
    • ‘Near the end of the meal I looked up at my two brilliant companions and smiled sadly and shyly.’
    • ‘Jo was held in high regard by all who knew her and her passing is sadly regretted.’
    • ‘Ask a civil servant whether Tony Blair ever squares up to George Bush and a weak smile crosses the mouth and the head shakes sadly.’
    • ‘I look up at him and he's smiling so sadly that tears cloud my eyes before I can even look down.’
    • ‘No, she thought sadly, painfully aware that he was standing mere feet away from her.’
    • ‘The West, it is sadly said, has lost confidence in the Enlightenment.’
    • ‘Terry smiles sadly like a missionary who has failed to convert that one last pygmy.’
    • ‘The baby in his arms gurgled slightly and he smiled sadly as he looked down at the small little face.’
    • ‘He smiled sadly and waved goodbye promising to see him tomorrow and then he drove away.’
    • ‘After trying to dissuade her, he sees that her mind is made up and sadly presents her to the Sultan.’
    • ‘I felt sadly let down though by the fact that none of you sent me a card!’
    • ‘They started dancing, and I smiled sadly, wishing I had a relationship even half as wonderful as theirs.’
    • ‘I lingered in the doorway sadly, not really reassured by the fact that the usual ice between us was absent.’
    • ‘The smiled vanished from his face and he looked sadly down at the book in his hands.’
    • ‘His pleasant and unassuming manner endeared him to many and he will be sadly missed by all who knew him.’
    • ‘He sighed sadly to the fact that who he was talking to wasn't really there to listen to him.’
    • ‘All this, rather sadly, puts one terrible piece of news in the shade.’
    • ‘She stared at me through a bleary film of sleep and smiled sadly.’
  • 2sentence adverb It is a sad or regrettable fact that; unfortunately.

    ‘sadly, the forests of Sulawesi are now under threat’
    • ‘I myself have long hoped to be a minion to Cruella Deville, but sadly my youthful dreams have been to no avail.’
    • ‘They were moving into Little Palgrave Hall, so, sadly, we had to leave.’
    • ‘The majority of fans hoping for a return to the afternoon grand final next year don't have much hope at all, sadly.’
    • ‘I pity their unhappy lives, but sadly there isn't a terrible great deal I can do to get them out and away from it.’
    • ‘I had hoped this had gone away, but, sadly, things like this never do.’
    • ‘Vietnam War, sadly, is another example of conflict won militarily but lost politically.’
    • ‘Those ten plus years of French and Spanish had just been buried by years of misuse, sadly.’
    • ‘Although it kept him from becoming entirely eccentric, sadly this imaginary power was not without its drawbacks.’
    • ‘And sadly, it's not terribly different from what is actually being done in some churches.’
    • ‘Prophetically and sadly, he had suggested he might turn out to be ‘the worst manager ever’.’
    • ‘A supreme court judge offers some interesting advice but sadly does not develop it further.’
    distressingly, worryingly, upsettingly, disturbingly, sadly, pitifully, unfortunately, agonizingly, harrowingly, excruciatingly, chillingly, alarmingly, insufferably, unendurably, unbearably, torturously, cruelly, uncomfortably, embarrassingly, disconcertingly, unenviably, unpleasantly
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    1. 2.1as submodifier To a regrettable extent; regrettably.
      ‘his schemes went sadly awry’
      • ‘Northern Ireland were the last winners of this sadly defunct competition and the elaborate silver cup is in their keeping.’
      • ‘They think of Hughes as a man who played for the shirt - a trait sadly lacking nowadays.’
      • ‘All that was left was the encore - often a dangerous time, where conductors can go sadly astray.’
      • ‘They're so naive, say the chatterers, so innocent and this, sadly, leads them to do such terrible things.’
      • ‘Instead, it's a sadly bloated and floundering example of an experiment gone awry.’
      • ‘She's got a really big smile though and if anything, we've been sadly lacking big smiles at work lately.’
      • ‘Initially we had a team of 12 who assisted with my care but sadly the situation deteriorated along with my condition.’
      • ‘It sensationalised what is sadly a fact of life - any drug can be misused.’
      • ‘Truter's story, while harrowing, is, sadly, far from unique in South Africa.’
      • ‘If a wealthy person gives money without love, thinking that he is doing a great favour, he is sadly mistaken.’
      • ‘I am growing sadly accustomed to his disregard for the views of the people of the town.’
      • ‘No doubt drawn from local ballet schools, this sadly reinforces the fact that boys don't do ballet class.’