scarce·​ly | \ ˈskers-lē How to pronounce scarcely (audio) \

Definition of scarcely

1a : 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
2a : 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

He could scarcely control his joy. Scarcely a day goes by when they don't see or talk to each other. He had scarcely enough money. This is scarcely a time to laugh. I could scarcely tell them they were wrong.
Recent Examples on the Web Many of the schools consistently squeezed from playoff runs have students who can scarcely afford the cleats, let alone pay for a private trainer or a quarterback coach. oregonlive, 28 Apr. 2022 There will be photos, too, offering a snapshot of a scarcely perceptible flaw in a player’s positioning or an expanse of the field left exposed or a darting run left unconsummated. New York Times, 26 Apr. 2022 The front office made several dramatic midseason trades, a team-building strategy scarcely deployed by the Eastern Conference pillar. Tony East, Forbes, 13 Mar. 2022 Copeland has lived this in her rise to the top of a profession where Black women have scarcely existed. Washington Post, 11 Apr. 2022 Shohei Ohtani is the greatest player on the planet, scarcely pausing to heist that title from teammate Mike Trout. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 6 Apr. 2022 There was a time before his arrival in the NBA when the primetime networks debated whether to air games at all because they were so scarcely watched. Selome Hailu, Variety, 6 Apr. 2022 In one, the underlying structure was scarcely visible, with huge plate corals and branching corals covering its surface in resplendent pinks and yellows. Rowan Moore Gerety, Wired, 5 Apr. 2022 The differences between Campion and Spielberg can scarcely be reduced to gender; there are differences of artistic temperament and sensibility, to say nothing of commercial scale and access to resources. Justin Changfilm Critic, Los Angeles Times, 27 Mar. 2022 See More

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, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for scarcely

Time Traveler

The first known use of scarcely was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

7 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Scarcely.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for scarcely


scarce·​ly | \ ˈskers-lē \

Kids Definition of scarcely

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

More from Merriam-Webster on scarcely

Nglish: Translation of scarcely for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scarcely for Arabic Speakers


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