Definition of scarcely in English:

scarcely

adverb

  • 1Only just; almost not.

    ‘her voice is so low I can scarcely hear what she is saying’
    • ‘The reaction to it has been overwhelmingly positive with scarcely a critical voice to be heard anywhere.’
    • ‘Democrats in Boston tacitly acknowledged the potential power of this message as the word ‘liberal’ was scarcely heard all week.’
    • ‘Then there are those who prefer a more flexible feast, offering haggis ravioli then Scotch trifle with mango, and there's scarcely a poem to be heard or a kilt to be seen.’
    • ‘Unfortunately you could scarcely hear them, but at least they looked to be having fun.’
    • ‘The day was calm, so calm that there was scarcely a breath of air.’
    • ‘He lay petrified in the elf's shirt, scarcely daring to breath.’
    • ‘In that moment he could scarcely breathe, and yet the air was filling his lungs like an inflated balloon, stretching them painfully.’
    • ‘An acknowledged expert in finance, his budgets were received with scarcely a dissentient voice.’
    • ‘She wraps one leg around the other and scarcely pauses for breath before elaborating.’
    • ‘This, then, is not a rags to riches tale, but one of a treasure chest so scarcely concealed that the topsoil barely covered it.’
    • ‘The action scarcely draws breath in 300-odd pages of rowdy doings and closet skulduggery.’
    • ‘Her feet made no sound against the smooth flagstones beneath them, and her breathing was scarcely audible.’
    • ‘Who could blame them, the wider world had scarcely heard of the British Virgin Islands.’
    • ‘These days, it is scarcely legal to whisper ‘Is there any more paper?’’
    • ‘Kirstie sat very still, scarcely able to take in what she was hearing.’
    • ‘They've been crying out to be heard for so long, they could scarcely believe someone was there to listen to their stories.’
    • ‘The deep Russian bass is chanting as though through a long resonant tube, scarcely surfacing for breath.’
    • ‘I heard the scarcely audible click of claws on the tiles: a step, then a hesitation.’
    • ‘The argument in favour of local shops is scarcely heard.’
    • ‘It is unfathomably silent on Broadway tonight; there's scarcely a car.’
    hardly, barely, only just
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Only a very short time before.
      ‘she had scarcely dismounted before the door swung open’
      • ‘That would suggest that the last books can scarcely have been written before the early years of Hadrian's reign, perhaps c. 120.’
      • ‘The guard was scarcely out of sight when he heard a high shout from behind him.’
    2. 1.2Used to suggest that something is unlikely to be or certainly not the case.
      ‘they could scarcely all be wrong’
      • ‘Expectations, helpfully, could scarcely be lower.’
      • ‘On the other hand, it was certainly fostered by Charlemagne himself, without whom it would scarcely have happened.’
      • ‘Victory over the bypass was sweet, but plans to streamline planning suggest the fight is scarcely over’
      • ‘While polling suggests Australians oppose privatisations, they are scarcely new and are seen as facts of life.’
      • ‘While it certainly addresses that trickiest of topics, it can scarcely be considered a novel, at least in any conventional sense of the term.’
      • ‘In such circumstances it is scarcely surprising that politics and politicians are now held in low esteem.’

Pronunciation:

scarcely

/ˈskɛːsli/