Usage Note: The adverb thusly was created in the 1800s as an alternative for thus in sentences such as Hold it thus or He put it thus. It appears to have been first used by humorists, who may have been imitating the speech of poorly educated people straining to sound stylish. The word has subsequently gained some currency in educated usage, but it has long been deplored by usage commentators as a "nonword." A large majority of the Usage Panel found it unacceptable in 1966, and this sentiment was echoed nearly forty years later in our 2002 survey, in which 86 percent of the Panel disapproved of the sentence His letter to the editor ended thusly: "It is time to stop fooling ourselves."
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus