\ˈber-ˈbōnz \

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

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 Delta Air Lines Delta may have been the first U.S. carrier to introduce basic economy, but its fares have gotten more bare bones each year. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Basic Economy: How Every Major U.S. Airline Compares," 24 Apr. 2018 Maybe the barest bones of such preparation are beginning to emerge. Tim Lister, CNN, "After the Syria strikes, is there any chance for diplomacy?," 15 Apr. 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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The first known use of bare-bones was in 1647

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something that serves to warn or remind

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