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adjective \ˈber\

Simple Definition of bare

  • : not having a covering

  • : not covered by clothing, shoes, a hat, etc.

  • : not covered by leaves, grass, trees, or plants

Full Definition of bare


  1. 1 a :  lacking a natural, usual, or appropriate covering b (1) :  lacking clothing <bare feet> (2) obsolete :  bareheaded c :  lacking any tool or weapon <opened the box with his bare hands>

  2. 2 :  open to view :  exposed <laying bare their secrets>

  3. 3 a :  unfurnished or scantily supplied <a bare room> b :  destitute <bare of all safeguards>

  4. 4 a :  having nothing left over or added <the bare necessities of life> b :  mere <a bare two hours away> c :  devoid of amplification or adornment <the bare facts>

  5. 5 obsolete :  worthless

bare·ness noun

Examples of bare

  1. The dining room is warm and comfortable in a quasi-Tuscan-villa style, with bare wood floors, mottled walls, … and a glass room divider etched with images of grapes. —Colman Andrews, Gourmet, March 2007

  2. A scant two hours after his Derby victory, Monarchos was back in his … stall, beneath a bare bulb, eating carrots from a red bucket. —Steve Rushin, Sports Illustrated, 14 May 2001

  3. The brittle-looking branches of bare trees reached up from the horizon, and smoke could be seen curling from the chimneys of the sturdy stone houses in the villages we passed through. —David McAninch, Saveur, November 2008

  4. There was a rug in the front room of the house, but the other floors were bare.

  5. Do not let the bare wires touch.

  6. He covered her bare arms with his coat.

  7. He had a glove on his left hand, but his right hand was bare.

  8. The ground was bare where the statue had stood for years.

  9. There was only one bare shelf.

  10. Her office was pretty bare, having only one desk and one chair.

  11. This is the barest room in the house.

  12. He only told me the bare facts about what happened.

Origin of bare

Middle English, from Old English bær; akin to Old High German bar naked, Lithuanian basas barefoot

First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of bare

bare, naked, nude, bald, barren mean deprived of naturally or conventionally appropriate covering. bare implies the removal of what is additional, superfluous, ornamental, or dispensable <an apartment with bare walls>. naked suggests absence of protective or ornamental covering but may imply a state of nature, of destitution, or of defenselessness <poor half-naked children>. nude applies especially to the unclothed human figure <a nude model posing for art students>. bald implies actual or seeming absence of natural covering and may suggest a conspicuous bareness <a bald mountain peak>. barren often suggests aridity or impoverishment or sterility <barren plains>.



verb \ˈber\

Simple Definition of bare

  • : to remove the covering from (something)

Full Definition of bare


  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to make or lay (something) bare (see 1bare) :  uncover

Examples of bare

  1. Ed McMahon calls upon the canine coach to help him settle down his aggressive … terrier, which is nice to Ed but bares its teeth at guests. —TV Guide, 29 Oct.-4 Nov. 2007

  2. You could argue that the very act of conducting a lengthy poll by telephone skews the response pool. What sort of person bares her soul to pollsters for upward of an hour—and during the holiday season yet? —Katha Pollitt, Nation, 4/11 Aug. 2003

  3. When Eastman called Death in the Afternoon (Hemingway's nonfiction book about bullfighting) “a literary style of wearing false hair on the chest,” Hemingway had no other options than to bare his hirsute midsection and duke it out with his rival author in front of their editor, Max Perkins. The common mythology is that Hemingway beat Eastman to a bloody pulp, but Perkins' account had Eastman gaining the upper hand. —Will Manley, Booklist, 1 Apr. 2001

  4. The better analogy is to bare all on the talk shows in which ordinary people are encouraged to reveal intimate aspects of their private lives. —Richard A. Posner, New Republic, 21 Aug. 2000

  5. He bared his chest to show the scar.

  6. <finally bared the secret that she had kept to herself for so long>

Origin of bare

(see 1bare)

First Known Use: before 12th century



Definition of bare

  1. archaic past of bear

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February 10, 2016

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