Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Hardly

Hard′ly

(härd′ly̆)
,
adv.
[AS.
heardlice
. See
Hard
.]
1.
In a hard or difficult manner; with difficulty.
Recovering
hardly
what he lost before.
Dryden.
2.
Unwillingly; grudgingly.
The House of Peers gave so
hardly
their consent.
Milton.
3.
Scarcely; barely; not quite; not wholly.
Hardly
shall you find any one so bad, but he desires the credit of being thought good.
South.
4.
Severely; harshly; roughly.
He has in many things been
hardly
used.
Swift.
5.
Confidently; hardily.
[Obs.]
Holland.
6.
Certainly; surely; indeed.
[Obs.]
Chaucer.

Webster 1828 Edition


Hardly

H`ARDLY

,
adv.
[See Hard.] With difficulty; with great labor.
Recovering hardly what he lost before.
1.
Scarcely; barely; almost not.
Hardly shall you find any one so bad, but he desires the credit of being thought good.
2.
Not quite or wholly. The object is so distant we can hardly see it. The veal is hardly done. The writing is hardly completed.
3.
Grudgingly, as an injury.
4.
Severely; unfavorably; as, to think hardly of public measures.
5.
Rigorously; oppressively. The prisoners were hardly used or treated.
6.
Unwelcomely; harshly.
Such information comes very hardly and harshly to a grown man.
7.
Coarsely; roughly; not softly.
Heaven was her canopy, bare earth her bed;
So hardly lodged.

Definition 2022


hardly

hardly

English

Adverb

hardly (comparative hardlier or more hardly, superlative hardliest or most hardly)

  1. (manner, obsolete) Firmly, vigorously, with strength or exertion.
  2. (manner, archaic) Harshly, severely.
    I can't really deal hardly with people.
  3. (now rare) With difficulty.
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essayes, London: Edward Blount, OCLC 946730821, Folio Society, 2006, vol.1, p.234:
      And what gentle flame soever doth warme the heart of young virgins, yet are they hardly drawne to leave and forgoe their mothers, to betake them to their husbands [].
    • 1977, John Le Carré, The Honourable Schoolboy, Folio Society 2010, page 40:
      While in Chelsea, Anne Smiley pined, taking very hardly to her unaccustomed role of wife abandoned.
  4. (degree) Barely, only just, almost not.
    • 2011 November 3, David Ornstein, Macc Tel-Aviv 1-2 Stoke”, in BBC Sport:
      With this the second of three games in seven days for Stoke, it was hardly surprising to see nine changes from the side that started against Newcastle in the Premier League on Monday.
    • 2013 July 6, The rise of smart beta”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8843, page 68:
      Investors face a quandary. Cash offers a return of virtually zero in many developed countries; government-bond yields may have risen in recent weeks but they are still unattractive. Equities have suffered two big bear markets since 2000 and are wobbling again. It is hardly surprising that pension funds, insurers and endowments are searching for new sources of return.
    they hardly ever watch television; I hardly think they'll come in this bad weather; it's hardly possible he could lose the election.

Usage notes

In the sense "barely", it is grammatically a negative word. It therefore collocates with ever rather than never.

  • Compare example sentence with I almost never watch television

Synonyms

Translations

Interjection

hardly

  1. Not really.
    I think the Beatles are a really overrated band. Hardly!

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: master · latter · fellow · #592: hardly · wind · drew · strength