1 of 2


: including only what is most basic or necessary
a bare-bones email 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

2 of 2

plural noun

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

Examples of bare-bones in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Other languages can be accommodated by ordering the keyboard as a bare-bones model which can then be fitted with custom keycaps and remapped using the QMK/VIA software. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 Some are bare-bones: a single responder with a phone on 24 hours a day. Lauren Peace, CNN, 27 Mar. 2024 The bare-bones scenic design by Takeshi Kata is mostly comprised of carts, poles and ladders, which struggle to fill the vast Imperial stage as they’re repurposed into train cars and gambling tents, among other things. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, 22 Mar. 2024 For decades, Notepad has been a bare-bones text editor found in Windows. Michael Kan, PCMAG, 22 Mar. 2024 But at $900 a month —more than $550 less than the average studio in Seattle — the micro-apartment with a bare-bones bathroom and shared kitchen was just within their budget and gave them a quick exit from their previous arrangement sleeping on the floor of a church. Hallie Golden, Fortune, 21 Mar. 2024 In recent years, many insurers have stopped offering new coverage and dropped customers in wildfire risk areas, forcing them to buy bare-bones, last-resort policies at two or three times the cost. John Woolfolk, The Mercury News, 14 Mar. 2024 But by 2009, according to users, Reddit’s website was as bare-bones as before the sale. Paresh Dave, WIRED, 14 Mar. 2024 Unlike bigger airlines that attract more upscale passengers — and now offer their own bare-bones fares to compete with budget carriers — Spirit has not recovered from the pandemic. David Koenig, Fortune, 5 Mar. 2024
Plural noun
The post-operative note is bare bones and also fails to have any sense of credibility regarding who created it, when it was created or who the was the actual non-doctor that performed this shower and shave post operative evaluation. David J. Neal, Miami Herald, 1 Apr. 2024 Its bare bones stores usually offer only the most basic services, which has allowed the company to expand rapidly at a lower cost. Laura He, CNN, 26 Feb. 2024 The Holdfast Collective’s bare bones structure reflects a growing trend in philanthropy — embodied by MacKenzie Scott, the former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos — to give away vast sums of money with little to no overhead. Kenneth P. Vogel, New York Times, 30 Jan. 2024 Faux puts meat on those bare bones by escorting his readers to many of the epicenters of the crypto scam — Miami, the Bahamas, the Philippines and more. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 3 Oct. 2023 At bare bones basics, both men come from essentially the same place, but external circumstances led one to be a vigilante hero, and the other to be a psychopathic villain. Evan Romano, Men's Health, 7 Aug. 2023 Not only do the inquiries sometimes take years to complete, but the reports that follow typically are as bare bones as the schools’ lawyers will allow. Ivan Oransky, Scientific American, 1 Aug. 2023 In a bare bones filing submitted late Wednesday, attorneys for Householder submitted notice of filing an appeal with the Sixth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. Jake Zuckerman, cleveland, 12 July 2023 The production quality was bare bones, with the audio gently echoing in the background as Carlson used his spare hand to scroll through the teleprompter himself. Oliver Darcy, CNN, 6 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bare-bones.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1868, in the meaning defined above

Plural Noun

1647, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bare-bones was in 1647

Dictionary Entries Near bare-bones



bare bones

Cite this Entry

“Bare-bones.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

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