• Because doubtless conventionally works as an adverb (in addition to being an adjective) even though it lacks the adverbial -ly ending, the –ly adverb doubtlessly is superfluous. It’s not wrong, but it always bears replacement with a shorter alternative. It addition to doubtless, there is the adverbial phrase no doubt, and there is also the slightly longer undoubtedly, which is more emphatic.


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    Doubtlessly is not wrong in these examples, but doubtless would work in its place:


    I saw no wildlife, although they doubtlessly saw me. [Guardian]

    The threats are doubtlessly hyperbole, but how many of our bosses would put up with them? [USA Today]

    Global warming will doubtlessly lead to global warring over resources. [Toronto Star]

    And these writers use doubtless as an adverb:

    For the younger fans, however, the impression of seeing a real-life prince will doubtless linger longer. [Brisbane Times]

    If you asked the men involved, they would doubtless point to sheer graft as the primary catalyst in this transformation. [Independent]

    If he makes it to the run-off, he would doubtless find Mr Kuczynski an easier opponent than Mr Toledo. [The Economist]



    1. Jin-Min Yuan says:

      So is “doubtlessly” actually wrong?

    2. Jin-Min Yuan says:

      So, is “doubtlessly” actually wrong?

    3. “Doubtless” just sounds plain odd when used in this fashion.

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