bare

adjective
\ ˈber How to pronounce bare (audio) \
barer; barest

Definition of bare

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : 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 : open to view : exposed laying bare their secrets
3a : unfurnished or scantily supplied a bare room
b : destitute bare of all safeguards
4a : 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 obsolete : worthless

bare

verb
\ ˈber How to pronounce bare (audio) \
bared; baring

Definition of bare (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to make or lay (something) bare (see bare entry 1) : uncover

bare

Definition of bare (Entry 3 of 3)

archaic past tense of bear

Other Words from bare

Adjective

bareness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for bare

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for bare

Adjective

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

Usage Note on Bear

Adjective

There is considerable confusion between the verbs bear and bare. It may help to remember that the verb bare has only one meaning: "to uncover," as in "bare your shoulders" and "a dog baring its teeth." All other uses of the verb are for bear: "bearing children," "the right to bear arms," "bearing up under the stress/weight," "can't bear the thought," "bear south," "it bears repeating."

There is occasional confusion between bear and bare in adjectival uses (as in "he rubbed his bear arms"), but bear is properly a noun and only used like an adjective in the financial phrase bear market. All other uses refer to the state of being uncovered or naked and should therefore be bare: "bare necessities," "bare essentials," "bare arms," "bare bones," "bare-knuckle," and so on.

Usage Note on Bear

Verb

There is considerable confusion between the verbs bear and bare. It may help to remember that the verb bare has only one meaning: "to uncover," as in "bare your shoulders" and "a dog baring its teeth." All other uses of the verb are for bear: "bearing children," "the right to bear arms," "bearing up under the stress/weight," "can't bear the thought," "bear south," "it bears repeating."

There is occasional confusion between bear and bare in adjectival uses (as in "he rubbed his bear arms"), but bear is properly a noun and only used like an adjective in the financial phrase bear market. All other uses refer to the state of being uncovered or naked and should therefore be bare: "bare necessities," "bare essentials," "bare arms," "bare bones," "bare-knuckle," and so on.

Examples of bare in a Sentence

Adjective 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 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 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 There was a rug in the front room of the house, but the other floors were bare. Do not let the bare wires touch. He covered her bare arms with his coat. He had a glove on his left hand, but his right hand was bare. The ground was bare where the statue had stood for years. There was only one bare shelf. Her office was pretty bare, having only one desk and one chair. This is the barest room in the house. He only told me the bare facts about what happened. Verb 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 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 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 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 He bared his chest to show the scar. finally bared the secret that she had kept to herself for so long See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Harrison Ford does what only Harrison Ford could do in this Cold War action movie — play a U.S. President who can fight of assassins with his bare hands. Yaa Bofah, Good Housekeeping, 6 May 2022 Sick birds Do not touch any sick or dead birds with bare hands. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, 2 May 2022 The resident strongwoman, Luella Lynne, dressed like a game-show hostess in a shimmering sequin dress and high heels, proceeded to bend steel bars and break shackles with her bare hands, with nary a bead of sweat. David Hill, Harper’s Magazine , 27 Apr. 2022 Anyone who sees a sick or dead bird should not touch them with bare hands, using gloves or a plastic bag if touching is necessary. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1 Apr. 2022 After the players realized what had happened, Giants second baseman Jeff Kent went on the field and picked up the bird with his bare hands and pointed it toward Johnson while smiling. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 24 Mar. 2022 Now, in other Ukrainian cities and towns, people are not afraid to stand against the armed Russian invaders and try to stop their tanks with their bare hands. Veronika Melkozerova, The Atlantic, 24 Mar. 2022 In 2019 a Colorado man made national news for fighting and suffocating an attacking mountain lion with his bare hands. NBC News, 23 Mar. 2022 Countless YouTubers filmed themselves snapping the iPhone 6 in half with their bare hands to demonstrate the issue. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 21 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Chelsea Handler has never been afraid to bare it all — and her 47th birthday is no different! Dory Jackson, PEOPLE.com, 25 Feb. 2022 Vanity Fair Afterparty: dares to bare in a plunging Mônot gown with hip cutouts. Brittany Talarico, PEOPLE.com, 28 Mar. 2022 Now, new research lays bare the brutal impact on their counterparts in public health. Azma Hasina Mulundika, STAT, 20 Mar. 2022 For those who don’t want to bare skin but still want to step out in something different, Tom Ford, Gucci and Valentino offer lightweight suits in a jewelry box worth of soft, rich gem tones. WSJ, 5 Mar. 2022 Just as your right to swing your fist doesn't extend to someone else's nose, your right to bare your nose and mouth doesn't extend to killing someone by spreading a deadly virus. Dr. Tom Frieden, CNN, 7 Dec. 2021 Not bad at all for a young team, but Jordan couldn't bare to watch the end of that last one. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 31 Jan. 2022 Men often earn accolades for such scenes while it is seen as routine for women to bare all, Ms. Husson says. Ellen Gamerman, WSJ, 26 Jan. 2022 The case of Carlos Ghosn lays bare the differences in corporate, legal and political cultures between Japan and the West. Wsj Books Staff, WSJ, 22 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bare.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of bare

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bare

Adjective and Verb

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

Learn More About bare

Time Traveler for bare

Time Traveler

The first known use of bare was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near bare

bardy

bare

bare'e

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for bare

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bare.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bare. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for bare

bare

adjective
\ ˈber How to pronounce bare (audio) \
barer; barest

Kids Definition of bare

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having no covering : naked bare feet The trees were bare of leaves.
2 : empty entry 1 sense 1 The cupboard was bare.
3 : having nothing left over or added : mere the bare necessities … Thorton was abreast of him and a bare half-dozen strokes away …— Jack London, The Call of the Wild
4 : bald sense 2 the bare facts

bare

verb
bared; baring

Kids Definition of bare (Entry 2 of 2)

More from Merriam-Webster on bare

Nglish: Translation of bare for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bare for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!