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English definition of “scarcely”

scarcely

adverb uk   /ˈskeəs.li/ us    /ˈskers-/

scarcely adverb (ONLY JUST)

C2 (literary scarce) only just or almost not: I was scarcely able to move my arm after the accident. I could scarcely believe it when she said she wanted to marry me.Merely and barelyAlmost used to say that something happened immediately after something else happened: I had scarcely sat down/Scarcely had I sat down to eat when the phone rang.Before, after and alreadyAfter and behindCloseness in distance and timeAbout to happen

scarcely adverb (NOT)

certainly not: I'd scarcely have done it if I didn't think it was absolutely necessary! He's only two - you can scarcely blame him for behaving badly.Yes, no and not
(Definition of scarcely from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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