scarcely

adverb scarce·ly \ ˈskers-lē \
Updated on: 16 Dec 2017

Definition of scarcely

1 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
2 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 in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of scarcely from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scarcely.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of scarcely

14th century



SCARCELY Defined for English Language Learners

scarcely

adverb

Definition of scarcely for English Language Learners

  • : almost not at all

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

  • : certainly not


SCARCELY Defined for Kids

scarcely

adverb scarce·ly \ ˈskers-lē \

Definition of scarcely for Students

1 : only just : barely
  • They had scarcely enough to eat.
2 : certainly not I could scarcely tell him he was wrong.


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