All dictionaries listed ungodly only as an adjective. Ungodlily was listed on Word Hippo, but I'm not so sure if it's reliable. So, is there an adverb for ungodly, and if so, what is it? Ungodlily sounds a bit awkward and clunky.

Here's the sentence in question: They were [ungodlily] outnumbered. I don't think ungodly would work here (at least as an adjective).

  • 2
    Please use this in a sentence. And show us why in an ungodly way isn't good enough.
    – tchrist
    Jun 30, 2019 at 19:58
  • Of course @tchrist, will do.
    – A. Kvåle
    Jun 30, 2019 at 20:00
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    – Jim
    Jun 30, 2019 at 20:49
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    If you look at the definition of ungodly, and if you don't want to rephrase the sentence, you can simply use a synonymous adverb. (In the the example sentence, outrageously seems like a good one.) Jun 30, 2019 at 21:00
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    Taking Jason's lead and looking at synonyms for ungodly, I come up with "corruptly", "godlessly", "indecently", "profanely", "sinfully", "wickedly", "impiously", "appallingly", etc.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 30, 2019 at 21:57

2 Answers 2


The OED has an entry for ungodlily. There are no examples more recent than 1860, but the ones provided are as follows:

583 J. Field Godly Exhortation sig. Cjv Being thus vngodlilie assembled, to so vnholy a spectacle.

1645 E. Pagitt Heresiogr. 54 Ungodlily alledging the..Scripture.

1674 Govt. Tongue 114 'Tis but an ill essay of that reverence and godly fear, to use that very gospel so irreverently and ungodlily as men now do.

1860 E. B. Pusey Minor Prophets 413 Israel..slaying ungodlily Him who was by nature His Begotten Son.

  • That's because there is no data after 1924, when it was last updated. The word could well be obsolete now.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jun 30, 2019 at 22:09
  • @AndrewLeach What exactly do you mean by "obsolete". Here we have an OP who wants to use the word - suggesting to me it cannot be obsolete. Are you proposing that no one should ever use an "obsolete" word.
    – WS2
    Jul 1, 2019 at 7:07
  • I'm not suggesting that per se, but things change in a hundred years. I think you'll find far more uses of ungodly as an adverb these days.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jul 1, 2019 at 7:12
  • @AndrewLeach As regards the adjective, it is mostly the OED sense 3 (colloquial) of ungodly which is used today. It is mainly used as an intensifier. It is rare to hear anyone use it meaning "un-god-like". In that sense ungodly doesn't really work as an adverb, and the examples the OED gives of its adverbial use are of the original meaning. The essential point here is not just that the adverb has disappeared, but the original meaning of the adjective too.
    – WS2
    Jul 1, 2019 at 17:05

Out of my above list, in the given context, I would nominate


Based on the adjective appalling [Macmillian]:

very unpleasant and shocking

I will note that I choose this term because, in the OP's example context, "ungodly" is being used in the sense of "excessive" or "unreasonable". Per Collins, definitions 2 & 3:

  1. adjective [ADJECTIVE noun] If you refer to a time as an ungodly hour, you are emphasizing that it is very early in the morning. [emphasis] ...at the ungodly hour of 4.00am.
  2. adjective [ADJECTIVE noun] If you refer to the amount or volume of something as ungodly, you mean that it is excessive or unreasonable.

"Ungodly" is used quite frequently in this sense (at least in the US).

Houston Press:

Hey, welcome to Houston! You'll love it here...once we get to October. But, there are some things you should know, particularly about Houston's ungodly traffic.


'Last week we had the blast furnace heat, but today we have the ungodly humidity and it feels worse.

  • 1
    What became of the godless? Did they retreat beyond the pall? Heaven forbid!
    – tchrist
    Jun 30, 2019 at 22:13
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    I'm a little curious as to why this answer is being down-voted.
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 1, 2019 at 3:00

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