"Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom,

lead thou me on;

the night is dark, and I am far from home;

lead thou me on.

Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see

the distant scene; one step enough for me......"

From "Lead, Kindly Light" a hymn written in 1833 by John Henry Newman

The hymn can be read here. https://www.godtube.com/popular-hymns/lead-kindly-light/

What is the difference between “kind” and “kindly” as adjectives? Can I replace “kindly” (the part in bold) with “kind” here?


: having or showing a gentle nature and a desire to help others :wanting

and liking to do good things and to bring happiness to others



[also more kindly; most kindly]

: having or showing a gentle nature and a desire to help others :


1 Answer 1


Used as adjectives, 'kind' and 'kindly' are synonyms. You may replace one with the other.

Kindly 1. adjective [usually ADJECTIVE noun] A kindly person is kind, caring, and sympathetic. He was a stern critic but an extremely kindly man. Synonyms: benevolent, kind, caring, nice

However, 'kindly' can be used as an adverb, meaning 'thoughtfully or helpfully'


  • Is "kindly" archaic as an adjective? Commented Sep 7, 2019 at 22:00
  • Not archaic, no. Not even old-fashioned. Possibly used more often by educated people. Commented Sep 7, 2019 at 23:36

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