The Meaning of Duly: What It Is and How To Use It

Have you ever wondered what the word duly means? This guide will provide you with all of the knowledge you need on the English language word duly, including its definition, usage, origin, example sentences, and more!

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What does the English word duly mean?

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Dictionary, the word duly (adv., “ˈdjuːlɪ”) is an adverb form of the word due. The word duly means in a due manner or time, or properly, appropriately, or rightfully. According to Oxford Languages, duly means that something is done in accordance with what is appropriate or required. This thing might follow proper procedure, or be as expected or predicted.

The word duly is often accompanied by the word noted to make the common phrase “duly noted.” The phrase duly noted means that someone is noting or acknowledging something, and that the noting is appropriate and justified. Grammarist states that duly noted implies whatever is being noted will be considered in due course, but is sometimes used sarcastically or ironically to dismiss something that is maybe true, but that is irrelevant.

The word duly should not be confused with the words dully, dually, or duely. Duely is not a word at all, but people may misspell duly this was due to their familiarity with the word “duel.” A duel is a pre arranged fight between two people, often to the death, and especially to settle a fight or debate, according to Dictionary. Dually means that something has been done twice or in two different ways, stemming from the word “dual” which refers to two things, according to Dictionary. Finally, dully stems from the word dull and means that something is either not sharp, or that it is boring, tedious, or listless, according to Dictionary.

What is the origin of the word duly?

The word duly is the adverbial form of the word due. According to Etymonline, the word due has been used since the mid 14th century to mean customary or regular. This comes from the Old French word deu, which is the past participle form of the French ver devoir meaning “to owe.” This stems from the Latin verb debere, which means “to owe.” Originally, this verb meant to “keep something away from someone.” The word debere comes from the prefix de- meaning “away” and the Latin verb habere which means “to have.”

How can the word duly be used in a sentence?

The word duly can be used in a great many different sentences and contexts. This word is considered somewhat formal, but definitely professional and polite, so it is appropriate to use in situations with any level of formality and professionalism. In this first example, Natacha and Marina are discussing the student body election.

Marina: I’m so excited that you won student body president! You’re going to do such a great job, Natacha.

Natacha: Yeah, I hope so…

Marina: What’s wrong?

Natacha: I just feel like a fraud, like people only voted for me because they were friends with me, not because they actually think I’m going to do a good job. Deena is so much more organized than I am.

Marina: Well, they didn’t vote for Deena. You were duly elected, and I know you’re going to do an amazing job. As VP, my first duty will be to help you come up with a system to get organized!

Natacha: Thanks, Marina.

Here, Marina uses “duly” to tell Natacha that she was fairly and deservedly elected. In this next example, Natacha and Marina are discussing the New Year dance they are planning.

Natacha: We need to get donations for food and drink, parent chaperones, a decoration committee… oh gosh, there’s so much more. Are you writing this down?

Marina: Yep!

Natacha: Oh, a DJ! We need a DJ!

Marina: Duly noted!

How can one say the word duly in other languages?

The word duly is also present in many other languages, not just English. A list of many different translations of duly is below, provided by Google Translate. Many of the different translations into romance languages like Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian also have the same Latin root as the word duly.

  • Portuguese – Devidamente
  • Spanish – Debidamente, puntualmente, obligatoriamente
  • German – Ordnungsgemäß
  • French – Dûment
  • Danish – Behørigt
  • Italian – Debitamente

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word duly?

There are many different words that one can use as a synonym to the word duly. A synonym is a word or phrase that means the same thing as a given word or phrase One might choose to use a synonym depending on different contexts, or if one wants to avoid repeating themselves or to expand their vocabulary. A list of synonyms for the word duly is listed below, from Thesaurus

  • Appropriately
  • Punctually
  • On time
  • Correctly
  • Accordingly
  • At the proper time
  • Rightfully
  • Properly
  • Deservedly
  • Befittingly
  • Suitable
  • Decorously

Duly also has a plethora of antonyms. Antonyms are words that mean the opposite of a given word or phrase. The most obvious antonym for the word duly is the word unduly, but there are also many other antonyms to the word duly, from Thesaurus.

  • Excessively
  • Disproportionately
  • Unjustifiably
  • Indecorously
  • Extremely
  • Unjustly
  • Out of proportion
  • Immensely
  • Unnecessarily
  • Over
  • Improperly
  • Unreasonably
  • Overfull
  • Inordinately
  • Ever
  • Overmuch
  • Overly
  • Extravagantly
  • Underhandedly
  • Too
  • Illegally
  • Unfairly
  • Immoderately

Overall, the word duly is the adverbial form of the word due. The word duly means properly, appropriately, or rightfully. This word is often used in the phrase duly noted. While this expression is sometimes used sarcastically, when used sincerely it is used to mean that something is being acknowledged and deserves to be.