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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.li/
  • 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 Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"hardly" in American English

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hardlyadverb [not gradable]

us   /ˈhɑrd·li/
only just or almost not: Hardly a day passes 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 your visit. We hardly ever see them anymore.
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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“hardly” in British English

“hardly” in American English

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Avoiding common errors with the word enough.
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