\ 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 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

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 At the time, it was said that Apple’s implementation of an Always-On display would be bare bones. Yoni Heisler, BGR, 24 May 2022 It was designed as a small, bare bones delivery van. Ray Magliozzi, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Apr. 2022 The series follows Tanner and his campaign from New Hampshire all the way through to the 1988 Democratic convention, with the bare bones of each episode’s cameo-heavy plot sketched out in response to the real events of the primaries. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, 25 Apr. 2022 So what are like the bare bones of a traditional Hindu wedding? Quartz Staff, Quartz, 21 Feb. 2022 There are countless variations to be discovered among the bare bones of this kind of story. Michael Phillips,, 1 Feb. 2022 Perhaps your workout routine needs a bit of inspiration, or your activewear collection is bare bones after your annual clothing purge. Sarah Madaus, SELF, 27 Jan. 2022 The present-day story framing it is weakened by the transformation of a novel into the bare bones of a plot that tosses aside the voice, the mental activity, that energizes it. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 3 Jan. 2022 As a quick aside, there’s no denying that Apple’s Weather app has, historically speaking, been pretty bare bones. Yoni Heisler, BGR, 7 June 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of bare-bones


1868, in the meaning defined above

Plural noun

1647, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for bare-bones

Time Traveler

The first known use of bare-bones was in 1647

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Cite this Entry

“Bare-bones.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2022.

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