Hardly



[hahrd-lee] /ˈhɑrd li/

adverb
1.
only just; almost not; barely:
We had hardly reached the lake when it started raining. hardly any; hardly ever.
2.
not at all; scarcely:
That report is hardly surprising.
3.
with little likelihood:
He will hardly come now.
4.
forcefully or vigorously.
5.
with pain or difficulty.
6.
British. harshly or severely.
7.
.
/ˈhɑːdlɪ/
adverb
1.
scarcely; barely: we hardly knew the family
2.
just; only just: he could hardly hold the cup
3.
(often ironic) almost or probably not or not at all: he will hardly incriminate himself
4.
with difficulty or effort
5.
(rare) harshly or cruelly
adv.

c.1200, “in a hard manner, with great exertion or effort,” from Old English heardlic “stern, severe, harsh; bold, warlike” (see hard + -ly (2)). Hence “assuredly, certainly” (early 14c.). Main modern sense of “barely, just” (1540s) reverses this, via the intermediate meaning “not easily, with trouble” (early 15c.). Formerly with superficial negative (not hardly).

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