Definition of thankfully in English:

thankfully

adverb

  • 1In a thankful manner:

    ‘she thankfully accepted the armchair she was offered’
    • ‘The robberies took place during a funeral and any information will be thankfully accepted.’
    • ‘Ever the gentleman he offered her an arm for support and she accepted thankfully.’
    1. 1.1[sentence adverb] Used to express pleasure or relief at a fortunate outcome:
      ‘thankfully, everything went smoothly’
      • ‘Today, thankfully, relations with the committee are somewhat more cordial.’
      • ‘The instruments had cost Benedict a fortune, but thankfully he was already a millionaire.’
      • ‘Bill's smugness is in full swing here, and thankfully is toned down in later performances.’
      • ‘My article was not written for you and thankfully it has reached its target audience.’
      • ‘A few players from each side got involved in a fracas, but thankfully common sense prevailed.’
      • ‘I've had many years of yo-yo dieting, but thankfully for the last two and half years, I have not been on a diet.’
      • ‘A full scale search was launched and thankfully she was found unharmed, aside from suffering from the cold.’
      • ‘But on the whole it could have been much worse and thankfully there weren't any clashes between the fans.’
      • ‘Ancestors buried beneath its great floor slates thankfully still rest in peace.’
      • ‘Eager to claim pole position, he skidded off the track with two minutes left, but thankfully walked away unhurt.’
      • ‘Cake forks and serviettes were provided, thankfully not placed under the buttered teacake!’
      • ‘When he collapsed it, he was stretchered off with a neck injury that, thankfully, revealed no fractures.’
      • ‘A large crowd was in attendance despite the strong breeze but thankfully the rain stayed away.’
      • ‘But thankfully no-one was hurt, none of the other properties were in danger, and all is well.’
      • ‘After Santa, we had a look around the craft fair, which wasn't all that good so thankfully my wallet stayed put in my pocket.’
      • ‘It's a gorgeous album, but thankfully it doesn't take itself too seriously either.’
      • ‘It is so easy for it to happen, as we have seen here, but thankfully this case ended happily.’
      • ‘His health has improved so much that thankfully he is able to lead a normal life, going about his work as usual.’
      • ‘The animal was as close as 60 yards but thankfully showed no interest in the doctor or his wife.’
      • ‘What saves it as a film are the stunning dance performances which are thankfully allowed to play out in full.’
      fortunately, happily, providentially, opportunely, by good luck, by good fortune, as luck would have it, propitiously
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Usage

Thankfully has been used for centuries to mean ‘in a thankful manner’, as in she accepted the offer thankfully. Since the 1960s it has also been used as a sentence adverb to mean ‘fortunately’, as in thankfully, we didn't have to wait. Although this use has not attracted the same amount of attention as hopefully, it has been criticized for the same reasons. It is, however, far commoner now than the traditional use, accounting for more than 80 per cent of citations for thankfully in the Oxford English Corpus. For further explanation, see hopefully

Origin

Old English thancfullīce (see thankful, -ly).

Pronunciation

thankfully

/ˈθaŋkfʊli//ˈθaŋkf(ə)li/