: almost not at all

: by only a small amount of time, space, etc.

: certainly not

Full Definition of SCARCELY

a :  by a narrow margin :  only just <had scarcely rung the bell when the door flew open — Agnes S. Turnbull>
b :  almost not <could scarcely see for the fog>
a :  certainly not <could scarcely interfere>
b :  probably not <there could scarcely have been found a leader better equipped — V. L. Parrington>

Examples of SCARCELY

  1. He could scarcely control his joy.
  2. Scarcely a day goes by when they don't see or talk to each other.
  3. He had scarcely enough money.
  4. This is scarcely a time to laugh.
  5. I could scarcely tell them they were wrong.

First Known Use of SCARCELY

14th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: scarcement
Previous Word in the Dictionary: scarce (adverb)
All Words Near: scarcely

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up scarcely? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).