Definition of scarcely in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈskɛːsli/


1Only just; almost not: her voice is so low I can scarcely hear what she is saying
More example sentences
  • The reaction to it has been overwhelmingly positive with scarcely a critical voice to be heard anywhere.
  • Democrats in Boston tacitly acknowledged the potential power of this message as the word ‘liberal’ was scarcely heard all week.
  • The argument in favour of local shops is scarcely heard.
hardly, barely, only just;
almost not
1.1Only a very short time before: she had scarcely dismounted before the door swung open
More example sentences
  • The guard was scarcely out of sight when he heard a high shout from behind him.
  • That would suggest that the last books can scarcely have been written before the early years of Hadrian's reign, perhaps c. 120.
1.2Used to suggest that something is unlikely to be or certainly not the case: they could scarcely all be wrong
More example sentences
  • Victory over the bypass was sweet, but plans to streamline planning suggest the fight is scarcely over
  • While it certainly addresses that trickiest of topics, it can scarcely be considered a novel, at least in any conventional sense of the term.
  • While polling suggests Australians oppose privatisations, they are scarcely new and are seen as facts of life.
rarely, seldom, infrequently, not often, hardly ever, almost never, on rare occasions, every once in a while
informal once in a blue moon
surely not, not, hardly, certainly not, definitely not, not at all, on no account, under no circumstances, by no means;
North American  noway

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: scarce¦ly

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