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English definition of “hardly”

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hardly

adverb uk   /ˈhɑːd.li/ us    /ˈhɑːrd-/

hardly adverb (ONLY JUST)

B1 only just; almost not: I could hardly hear her at the back. The party had hardly started when she left. He hardly ate anything/He ate hardly anything. We hardly ever (= almost never) go to concerts. Hardly had a moment passed before the door creaked open.
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hardly adverb (CERTAINLY NOT)

B2 certainly not: You can hardly expect a pay rise when you've only been working for the company for two weeks! Well don't be angry with me - it's hardly my fault that it's raining!
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(Definition of hardly from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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