Hardly vs Moderately - What's the difference?

hardly | moderately |

As adverbs the difference between hardly and moderately

is that hardly is (manner|obsolete) firmly, vigorously, with strength or exertion while moderately is in a moderate manner.

As an interjection hardly

is not really.




  • (manner, obsolete) Firmly, vigorously, with strength or exertion.
  • *, Folio Society, 2006, vol.1, p.148:
  • Let him hardly be possest with an honest curiositie to search out the nature and causes of all things.
  • (manner, archaic) Harshly, severely.
  • With difficulty.
  • *, Folio Society, 2006, vol.1, p.234:
  • And what gentle flame soever doth warme the heart of young virgins, yet are they hardly drawne to leave and forgoe their mothers, to betake them to their husbands.
  • * 1977 , , The Honourable Schoolboy , Folio Society 2010, p. 40:
  • While in Chelsea, Anne Smiley pined, taking very hardly to her unaccustomed role of wife abandoned.
  • (degree) Barely, only just, almost not.
  • * {{quote-news, year=2011, date=November 3, author=David Ornstein, work=BBC Sport
  • , title= Macc Tel-Aviv 1-2 Stoke , passage=With this the second of three games in seven days for Stoke, it was hardly surprising to see nine changes from the side that started against Newcastle in the Premier League on Monday.}}
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-07-06, volume=408, issue=8843, page=68, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= The rise of smart beta , passage=Investors face a quandary. Cash offers a return of virtually zero in many developed countries; government-bond yields may have risen in recent weeks but they are still unattractive. Equities have suffered two big bear markets since 2000 and are wobbling again. It is hardly surprising that pension funds, insurers and endowments are searching for new sources of return.}}

    Usage notes

    In the sense "barely", it is grammatically a negative word. It therefore collocates with ever rather than never. * Compare example sentence with I almost never watch television


    * barely, just, only just, scarcely


    (en interjection)
  • Not really.
  • I think the Beatles are a really overrated band. &
  • x2015; Hardly !
  • moderately



    (en adverb)
  • In a moderate manner.
  • During the debate, they disagreed plainly, but moderately .
  • To a moderate extent or degree.
  • They were at least moderately happy with their bonuses.