hardly Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
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Meaning of “hardly” in the English Dictionary

"hardly" in British English

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hardlyadverb

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 ​momentpassed before the ​doorcreakedopen.
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hardly adverb (CERTAINLY NOT)

B2 certainly not: You can hardly ​expect a ​payrise 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 Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"hardly" in American English

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hardlyadverb [not gradable]

 us   /ˈhɑrd·li/

hardly adverb [not gradable] (ONLY JUST)

only just or ​almost not: Hardly a ​daypasses that I don’t ​think about it. You’ve hardly ​eaten anything. Something is ​wrong with the ​phone – I can hardly ​hear you. I can hardly ​wait for ​yourvisit. We hardly ​eversee them ​anymore.

hardly adverb [not gradable] (CERTAINLY NOT)

certainly not: It’s hardly ​surprising that he was ​angry.
(Definition of hardly from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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