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.]
6. Certainly; surely; indeed. [Obs.]
adv 1: by a small margin; "they could barely hear the speaker"; "we
hardly knew them"; "just missed being hit"; "had
scarcely rung the bell when the door flew open";
"would have scarce arrived before she would have found
some excuse to leave"- W.B.Yeats [syn: barely, just,
2: almost not; "he hardly ever goes fishing"; "he was hardly
more than sixteen years old"; "they scarcely ever used the
emergency generator" [syn: scarcely]