wide·ly / ˈwīdlē/ • adv. 1. over a wide area or at a wide interval: he smiled widely and held out a hand a tall man with widely spaced eyes. ∎ to a large degree in nature or character (used to describe considerable variation or difference): lending policies vary widely between different banks | people in widely different circumstances. 2. over a large area or range; extensively: Deborah has traveled widely | she was widely read. ∎ by many people or in many places: credit cards are widely accepted.