he rode on hopefully

optimistically, full of hope, confidently, buoyantly, sanguinely; expectantly

hopefully it will finish soon

if all goes well, God willing, with luck, with any luck; most likely, probably; conceivably, feasibly; informal knock on wood, fingers crossed
Four points about this word: First, it was widely condemned from the 1960s to the 1980s. Briefly, the objections are that (1) hopefully properly means "in a hopeful manner" and shouldn't be used in the radically different sense "I hope" or "it is to be hoped"; (2) if the extended sense is accepted, the original sense will be forever lost; and (3) in constructions such as "Hopefully, it won't rain this afternoon", the writer illogically ascribes an emotion (hopefulness) to a nonperson. Hopefully isn't analogous to curiously (= it is a curious fact that), fortunately (= it is a fortunate thing that), and sadly (= it is a sad fact that). How so? Unlike all those other sentence adverbs, hopefully can't be resolved into any longer expression involving the word hopeful — but only hope (e.g., it is to be hoped that or I hope that).
Second, whatever the merits of those arguments, the battle is now over. Hopefully is now a part of American English, and it has all but lost its traditional meaning — e.g.: "Hopefully, one day we will all grow older." (San Diego Union-Tribune; Nov. 26, 1997.) Sometimes, the word is genuinely ambiguous (if the original meaning is considered still alive) — e.g.: "Dave Krieg will take the snaps and, hopefully, hand off to RB Garrison Hearst." (USA Today; Sept. 1, 1995.) (Is Krieg hoping for the best when Hearst runs? Or is the writer hoping that Krieg won't pass the football or hand off to another running back?) Indeed, the original meaning of hopefully is alive, even if moribund — e.g.: "Officials recently have pointed hopefully to signs of increased usage of the garage." (Boston Globe; Oct. 9, 1994.)
Third, some stalwarts continue to condemn the word, so that anyone using it in the new sense is likely to have a credibility problem with some readers — e.g.
• "Professor Michael Dummett, an Oxford logician, condemns the new usage of hopefully because only a person can be hopeful, and in many such cases there is nobody around in the sentence to be hopeful." (Daily Telegraph [UK]; Dec. 11, 1996.)
• "Although various adverbs may be used to modify entire clauses, hopefully isn't among them — yet. I only hope I won't have to concede that it is until I’m an old, old woman." (Barbara Wallraff, Word Court; 2000.)
Fourth, though the controversy swirling around this word has subsided, any use of it is likely to distract some readers. Avoid it in all senses if you’re concerned with your credibility: if you use it in the traditional way, many readers will think it odd; if you use it in the newish way, a few readers will tacitly tut-tut you.
Throughout the late twentieth century, the common wisdom was that the use of hopefully as a sentence adverb had begun sometime around the early 1930s. Then, in 1999, a lexicographic scholar named Fred Shapiro, using computer-assisted research, traced it back to Cotton Mather's 1702 book, Magnalia Christi Americana, in this sentence: "Chronical diseases, which evidently threaten his Life, might hopefully be relieved by his removal." The evidence then skips to 1851, then to the 1930s. — BG

Thesaurus of popular words. 2014.

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  • hopefully — 1. This has been used since the 17c as a straightforward adverb of manner: • As lovers do, as lovers will, they travelled hopefully to Paris Maurice Gee, 1985 • Out on the corridor, Nurse Bodkin was hovering hopefully near a suspended piece of… …   Modern English usage

  • Hopefully — Hope ful*ly, adv. 1. In a hopeful manner. [PJC] 2. I hope; if all goes well; as, hopefully, the dress will be ready before the party. Note: Some prescriptivists object to this usage as being ungrammatical, but it is very common and well… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hopefully — hopefully; un·hopefully; …   English syllables

  • hopefully — ► ADVERB 1) in a hopeful manner. 2) it is to be hoped that. USAGE The traditional sense of hopefully is ‘in a hopeful manner’. In the 20th century a new use arose, with the meaning ‘it is to be hoped that’. Although this newer use is now very… …   English terms dictionary

  • hopefully — [hōp′fəl ē] adv. 1. in a hopeful manner 2. it is to be hoped (that) [to leave early, hopefully by six] …   English World dictionary

  • hopefully — 1630s, in a hopeful manner, from HOPEFUL (Cf. hopeful) + LY (Cf. ly) (2). As a replacement for the admittedly awkward it is to be hoped that attested from 1932 but avoided by careful writers …   Etymology dictionary

  • hopefully —     To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive. Seventy or eighty years ago that sentence by Robert Louis Stevenson would have suggested only one interpretation: that it is better to travel filled with hope than to actually reach your… …   Dictionary of troublesome word

  • hopefully — /hohp feuh lee/, adv. 1. in a hopeful manner: We worked hopefully and energetically, thinking we might finish first. 2. it is hoped; if all goes well: Hopefully, we will get to the show on time. [1630 40; HOPEFUL + LY] Usage. Although some… …   Universalium

  • hopefully — adverb Date: 1593 1. in a hopeful manner 2. it is hoped ; I hope ; we hope < hopefully the rain will end soon > Usage: In the 1960s the second sense of hopefully, which dates to the early 18th century and had been in fairly widespread use since… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • hopefully — [[t]ho͟ʊpfʊli[/t]] ADV: ADV with cl/group You say hopefully when mentioning something that you hope will happen. Some careful speakers of English think that this use of hopefully is not correct, but it is very frequently used. Both of them have… …   English dictionary