hardly a


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Adj.1.hardly a - very few; "hardly a man is now alive who remembers that famous date and year"
few - a quantifier that can be used with count nouns and is often preceded by `a'; a small but indefinite number; "a few weeks ago"; "a few more wagons than usual"; "an invalid's pleasures are few and far between"; "few roses were still blooming"; "few women have led troops in battle"
References in classic literature ?
There is hardly a person in this room, white or black, whose natal signature I cannot produce, and not one of them can so disguise himself that I cannot pick him out from a multitude of his fellow creatures and unerringly identify him by his hands.
Then, if the boy has read a good many other books, he is taken with that abundance of literary turn and allusion in Thackeray; there is hardly a sentence but reminds him that he is in the society of a great literary swell, who has read everything, and can mock or burlesque life right and left from the literature always at his command.
You may read the greatest part of Dickens, as you may read the greatest part of Hawthorne or Tolstoy, and not once be reminded of literature as a business or a cult, but you can hardly read a paragraph, hardly a sentence, of Thackeray's without being reminded of it either by suggestion or downright allusion.