\ 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 Thanks to some clever knife skills, all the meat on the wing is pushed to the top, leaving one end with just bare bone. Nick Kindelsperger,, "Forget Buffalo wings — Korean fried chicken is better," 22 Mar. 2018 His freshman season was bare bones in terms of stats (1.5 points and 1.1 rebounds in 21 games) and minutes (9.6 per game) and highlights (his season high of 14 came in an exhibition game). Tom Noie, Indianapolis Star, "Crossroads Classic matchup with Notre Dame just another game for IU's Damezi Anderson," 20 Dec. 2019 Scientists can also use bones, but a suspect isn’t likely to leave a bare bone behind. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Science Can Now Find You With Just a Tiny Piece of Hair," 24 Nov. 2019 Those are the bare bones of Arctic, which draws its magnetic pull from both Mikkelsen's expressive, heartbreaking performance as well as the overpowering might of the conditions around him. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to Watch (and Skip) in Theaters and on Streaming Platforms This Weekend," 22 Nov. 2019 The airline's bare bones fare, which used to be the only option and comes with just one personal item that fits underneath the seat, is now called Allegiant Basic. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, "No-frills Allegiant Air adds tickets with frills (for a fee)," 14 Nov. 2019 It’s [about] getting back into the footwork, hand placement, the bare bones technique [stuff] from a football standpoint. Omar Kelly,, "Dolphins expect reinforcements from PUP list and injured reserve, but which players?," 25 Oct. 2019 After the sale of Kieran Trippier to Atletico Madrid in July, Tottenham are down to the bare bones in the right-back position., "Kyle Walker-Peters Tipped For Loan Move to Tottenham's Premier League Rivals," 16 Oct. 2019 Many of the stories that appear on OAN are bare bones, straight news — particularly the crime, business and international headlines sourced from wire services. San Diego Union-Tribune, "One America News counts Trump as a fan. But the San Diego channel is fighting for millions more viewers," 27 Sep. 2019

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

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The first known use of bare-bones was in 1647

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Cite this Entry

“Bare-bones.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 29 January 2020.

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More Definitions for bare-bones


How to pronounce bare bones (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bare-bones

: including only what is most basic or needed

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bare-bones

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).


to assert without proof or before proving

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