\ ˈber-ˈbōnz How to pronounce bare-bones (audio) \

Definition of bare-bones

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: including only what is most basic or necessary a bare-bones e-mail program Skyscrapers of steel hung with curtain walls of glass, these sleek buildings were impressive monuments to bare-bones architectural integrity.— C. A. Mills

bare bones

plural noun

Definition of bare bones (Entry 2 of 2)

: the barest essentials, facts, or elements the bare bones of her life

Examples of bare-bones in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Plural noun

With Sanchez also leaving, the thin squad is down to bare bones upfront, with Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and 17-year-old Mason Greenwood the only goalscorers left in the first-team group., "Man Utd Have Been Played for Fools Over Alexis Sanchez Exit But What Choice Did They Have?," 28 Aug. 2019 All spaces were taken down to the bare bones during the project, which started in the spring of 2018. Jesse Leavenworth,, "Manchester school board tours newly renovated, expanded Verplanck Elementary School," 26 Aug. 2019 Many brides booking 2019 spring/summer weddings far in advance had only seen the bare bones of the bridal suite and were thrilled to see the transformation of the space, according to Arianna Smith, director of special events at Tunxis. Caitlin Collins,, "Keeping calm on the big day: Bridal suites provide a Zen homebase," 21 Aug. 2019 Currently all of the components that a voter would interact with are bare bones prototypes that don’t provide much to hack. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "Hackers Take on Darpa's $10 Million Voting Machine," 9 Aug. 2019 Nicchi opened the bare bones ice cream truck in 2014 to sell just chocolate, vanilla or twist soft-serve ice cream out of a vintage Mr Softee. Melissa Locker, Time, "Social Media Influencers Have to Pay Double at This Soft Serve Truck Because the Ice Cream Man Has Reached His Melting Point," 3 July 2019 Though there have been some big changes, the bare bones of the format are still the same: hot people, mostly with a certain blank-slateness to them, looking for love under omnipresent surveillance and the continuous threat of exile. 1843, "Love Island’s literary forebears, from Eden to The Tempest," 19 June 2019 Hardy found that these bare bones were enough to get all that familiar quantum stuff back again. Quanta Magazine, "Quantum Theory Rebuilt From Simple Physical Principles," 30 Aug. 2017 But Amazon runs on a logistics system that’s based off working people to the bare bones. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "The human costs of Black Friday, explained by a former Amazon warehouse manager," 20 Nov. 2018

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

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First Known Use of bare-bones


1946, in the meaning defined above

Plural noun

1647, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for bare-bones

The first known use of bare-bones was in 1647

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More Definitions for bare-bones



English Language Learners Definition of bare-bones

: including only what is most basic or needed

More from Merriam-Webster on bare-bones

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Comments on bare-bones

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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