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 of bear

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from bare

Adjective

bareness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for bare

Synonyms: Adjective

mere, very

Synonyms: Verb

disclose, discover, divulge, expose, let on (about), reveal, spill, tell, unbosom, uncloak, uncover, unmask, unveil

Antonyms: Verb

cloak, conceal, cover (up), enshroud, hide, mask, shroud, veil

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

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.

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.

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

He pointed - through trees stripped bare and crushed - to the slum, which had been reduced to a field of dense debris. Author: Anthony Faiola, Anchorage Daily News, "In the Bahamas, anguished hurricane survivors await relief amid the bodies," 6 Sep. 2019 The report also laid bare that city departments have not adequately collaborated to help the most vulnerable among the 4,000 — about 200 of the sickest people — despite officials identifying its neediest cases over many years. Dominic Fracassa, SFChronicle.com, "SF counts 4,000 homeless, addicted and mentally ill, but timeline for help still unclear," 4 Sep. 2019 Modern vineyards often have bare soil between the vines, easier for tractors to work the rows. Dave Mcintyre | Special To The Washington Post, oregonlive, "Oregon winemaker challenges efforts to make vineyards more sustainable," 3 Sep. 2019 Available on newsstands right now: Christian Yelich’s bare ass, thanks to ESPN the Magazine, which included the defending NL MVP in its annual Body Issue. Jon Tayler, SI.com, "MLB Is a Game of Extremes in 2019. What Does That Mean for the Sport's Future?," 3 Sep. 2019 Small consolation: Senzatela’s five innings gave Colorado’s thread-bare bullpen a tiny bit of a break. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Rockies switch things up, still lose to Pirates as slide continues," 30 Aug. 2019 The cover, which was posted on Instagram and has since been deleted, depicted Eilish as bald, robotic and bare shouldered. Whitney Friedlander, CNN, "Billie Eilish angry after magazine depicts her as 'shirtless' and robot-like on cover," 30 Aug. 2019 The brown spots are the final stage of iron deficiency just before the leaves fall and leave bare branches. Neil Sperry, ExpressNews.com, "Hollow, goop-filled tree needs an arborist’s advice," 30 Aug. 2019 Entering the master bedroom, police discovered a drawing of a bare female backside and a painting of a naked woman, as well as what appeared to be either a sketch or embellished photo of Maxwell. Bryan Llenas | Fox News, Fox News, "Video from raid on Jeffrey Epstein's Palm Beach mansion showed nude images of young women," 29 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

While the milestone doesn’t bare any significance on the market, the new high underscored stocks’ wild ride since last year’s selloff. Michael Wursthorn And Nathan Allen, WSJ, "Health-Care Rally Helps Lift Dow to Record Close," 11 July 2019 This interminable poem laid bare the carnage that ensues as a result of skullduggery. Rebecca Schuman, Longreads, "On Truth and Lying in the Extra German Sense," 20 June 2019 In his research, participants can bare looking at disgusting images for a shorter length of time than any other category. Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, "Why You Can't Look Away From #CursedImages," 14 June 2019 Even the dining room is a cipher: Designed by Lundberg Design, the company that also worked on Mourad and Bluestem Brasserie, the room’s bare concrete walls are decorated with a smattering of anonymous glazed pottery pieces. Soleil Ho, SFChronicle.com, "At Maum in Palo Alto, a tasting menu that celebrates Korean American classics," 8 Aug. 2019 Stearns’s plan, in other words, is to strip bare the crisis in male identity—that old favorite—and to leave any guys in the audience shrivelled and shamed. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“The Farewell” Mixes Mourning and Revelry," 12 July 2019 Jenner continue to bare her birthday suit in 2017, posing naked under a chandelier with a cigarette in hand in July of that year. Matt Mcnulty, PEOPLE.com, "Kendall Jenner Strips Down (Again) in New Nude Photoshoot," 19 July 2019 While the families posed for their innocent photo, a woman decided to bare her breast off to the side of the sign. Danny Hermosillo, Houston Chronicle, "Family portrait at Texas state park tarnished when photobombed by woman flashing her breast," 18 July 2019 Then again, Thompson’s Katherine Newbury, an acerbic talk-show host facing imminent replacement, is more likely to bare her fangs than turn the world on with her smile. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Review: Thompson, Kaling drive ‘Late Night’ with brilliant chemistry," 14 June 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bare

Dictionary Entries near bare

bardship

Bardstown

bardy

bare

bare'e

bare-assed

bareback

Statistics for bare

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bare

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bare

bare

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of bare

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not having a covering
: not covered by clothing, shoes, a hat, etc.
: not covered by leaves, grass, trees, or plants

bare

verb

English Language Learners Definition of bare (Entry 2 of 2)

: to remove the covering from (something)

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)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on bare

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bare

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bare

Spanish Central: Translation of bare

Nglish: Translation of bare for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bare for Arabic Speakers

Comments on bare

What made you want to look up bare? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

authorized for issue (as a bond)

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!