Does "scarcely" imply it is less than or more than when used with a quantity?
I have checked a few threads on the internet.
1) He is scarcely four feet tall.
2) Scarcely twenty years passed before our imaginations were duly stretched.
3) " As the seventeenth century dawned, scarcely a hundred years after Columbus’s momentous landfall, the face of much of the New World had already been profoundly transformed. European crops and livestock had begun to alter the very landscape, touching off an ecological revolution that would reverberate for centuries to come."
In all of the above three examples, native speakers take "scarcely" to mean " a little more than".
This is confusing to me.
Scarcely: only just; almost not ( Oxford Learner's Dictionaries)
How would I understand the meaning of "scarcely" when used with a quantity?