\ 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

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 The Console Classix app uses multiple open-source emulators without much interface consistency between them, and this library-of-sorts has a bare bones frontend that looks very much like it was created by hobbyists nearly two decades ago. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "ROM sites are falling, but a legal loophole could save game emulation," 21 Aug. 2018 Now, just a few months later, 12 previously all-inclusive airlines—plus Wow Air and Norwegian—offer some version of bare bones comfort at ultra-low prices, often eliminating free checked luggage and seat selection. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "International Basic Economy: How Every Major Airline Compares," 5 July 2018 The rest of the game is obvious, because tennis is as bare bones as sports come. Kevin Nguyen, GQ, "Mario Tennis Aces," 26 June 2018 This is the bare bones of an agreement on denuclearization. Byron Tau, WSJ, "GOP Lawmakers Optimistic About Korea Talks Amid Concerns Over Lack of Details," 12 June 2018 Well, those days are just about gone, replaced by a series of micro-breweries with tasting rooms that take a bare bones approach to the food. Dave Eckert, kansascity, "Menu finds: A distillery serving ceviche and a brewery with short rib hot dogs," 5 June 2018 Auditors in many countries are already required to add flesh to the bare bones of the audit opinion. The Economist, "Reforming the Big Four," 24 May 2018 On the other hand, Liverpool are somewhat down to the bare bones of the squad in the business end of the season., "Chelsea vs Liverpool Preview: Form Guide, Previous Encounter, Key Battle, Team News & Prediction," 5 May 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

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