Hardly definition

härdlē
With great difficulty or effort.

I could hardly get up the stairs.

adverb
24
2
To almost no degree; barely at all; almost not.

I could hardly hear the speaker.

adverb
15
3
Probably or surely not.

He is hardly the kind of guy you would want to date. It's hardly a secret that they are engaged.

adverb
10
3
With severity; harshly.
adverb
10
3
Only just; barely; scarcely.

Hardly the person to ask.

adverb
1
0
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With effort or difficulty.
adverb
1
0
Severely; harshly.
adverb
1
0
(manner, archaic) Harshly, severely.

I can't really deal hardly with people.

adverb
1
0
(now rare) With difficulty.
adverb
1
0
(degree) Barely, only just, almost not.

They hardly ever watch television; I hardly think they'll come in this bad weather; it's hardly possible he could lose the election.

adverb
1
0
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Not really.

I think the Beatles are a really overrated band. ― Hardly!

interjection
1
0
Hardly is defined as barely, scarcely or not likely.

An example of hardly used as an adverb is in the sentence, "He was hardly helping us to complete the project," which means "He was barely helping us to complete the project."

adverb
1
1

Origin of hardly

  • Middle English hardli from Old English heardlīce harshly, bravely from heard hard hard

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From hard +‎ ly.

    From Wiktionary