\ ˈber How to pronounce bare (audio) \
barer; barest

Definition of bare

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : lacking a natural, usual, or appropriate covering
b(1) : lacking clothing bare feet
(2) obsolete : bareheaded
c : lacking any tool or weapon opened the box with his bare hands
2 : open to view : exposed laying bare their secrets
3a : unfurnished or scantily supplied a bare room
b : destitute bare of all safeguards
4a : having nothing left over or added the bare necessities of life
b : mere a bare two hours away
c : devoid of amplification or adornment the bare facts
5 obsolete : worthless

bare

verb
\ ˈber How to pronounce bare (audio) \
bared; baring

Definition of bare (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to make or lay (something) bare (see bare entry 1) : uncover

bare

Definition of bare (Entry 3 of 3)

archaic past of bear

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Other Words from bare

Adjective

bareness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for bare

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for bare

Adjective

bare, naked, nude, bald, barren mean deprived of naturally or conventionally appropriate covering. bare implies the removal of what is additional, superfluous, ornamental, or dispensable. an apartment with bare walls naked suggests absence of protective or ornamental covering but may imply a state of nature, of destitution, or of defenselessness. poor half-naked children nude applies especially to the unclothed human figure. a nude model posing for art students bald implies actual or seeming absence of natural covering and may suggest a conspicuous bareness. a bald mountain peak barren often suggests aridity or impoverishment or sterility. barren plains

Usage Note on Bear

Verb

There is considerable confusion between the verbs bear and bare. It may help to remember that the verb bare has only one meaning: "to uncover," as in "bare your shoulders" and "a dog baring its teeth." All other uses of the verb are for bear: "bearing children," "the right to bear arms," "bearing up under the stress/weight," "can't bear the thought," "bear south," "it bears repeating."

There is occasional confusion between bear and bare in adjectival uses (as in "he rubbed his bear arms"), but bear is properly a noun and only used like an adjective in the financial phrase bear market. All other uses refer to the state of being uncovered or naked and should therefore be bare: "bare necessities," "bare essentials," "bare arms," "bare bones," "bare-knuckle," and so on.

Usage Note on Bear

Adjective

There is considerable confusion between the verbs bear and bare. It may help to remember that the verb bare has only one meaning: "to uncover," as in "bare your shoulders" and "a dog baring its teeth." All other uses of the verb are for bear: "bearing children," "the right to bear arms," "bearing up under the stress/weight," "can't bear the thought," "bear south," "it bears repeating."

There is occasional confusion between bear and bare in adjectival uses (as in "he rubbed his bear arms"), but bear is properly a noun and only used like an adjective in the financial phrase bear market. All other uses refer to the state of being uncovered or naked and should therefore be bare: "bare necessities," "bare essentials," "bare arms," "bare bones," "bare-knuckle," and so on.

Examples of bare in a Sentence

Adjective The brittle-looking branches of bare trees reached up from the horizon, and smoke could be seen curling from the chimneys of the sturdy stone houses in the villages we passed through. — David McAninch, Saveur, November 2008 The dining room is warm and comfortable in a quasi-Tuscan-villa style, with bare wood floors, mottled walls,  … and a glass room divider etched with images of grapes. — Colman Andrews, Gourmet, March 2007 A scant two hours after his Derby victory, Monarchos was back in his … stall, beneath a bare bulb, eating carrots from a red bucket. — Steve Rushin, Sports Illustrated, 14 May 2001 There was a rug in the front room of the house, but the other floors were bare. Do not let the bare wires touch. He covered her bare arms with his coat. He had a glove on his left hand, but his right hand was bare. The ground was bare where the statue had stood for years. There was only one bare shelf. Her office was pretty bare, having only one desk and one chair. This is the barest room in the house. He only told me the bare facts about what happened. Verb Ed McMahon calls upon the canine coach to help him settle down his aggressive … terrier, which is nice to Ed but bares its teeth at guests. TV Guide, 29 Oct.-4 Nov. 2007 You could argue that the very act of conducting a lengthy poll by telephone skews the response pool. What sort of person bares her soul to pollsters for upward of an hour—and during the holiday season yet? — Katha Pollitt, Nation, 4/11 Aug. 2003 When Eastman called Death in the Afternoon (Hemingway's nonfiction book about bullfighting) "a literary style of wearing false hair on the chest," Hemingway had no other options than to bare his hirsute midsection and duke it out with his rival author in front of their editor, Max Perkins. The common mythology is that Hemingway beat Eastman to a bloody pulp, but Perkins' account had Eastman gaining the upper hand. — Will Manley, Booklist, 1 Apr. 2001 The better analogy is to bare all on the talk shows in which ordinary people are encouraged to reveal intimate aspects of their private lives. — Richard A. Posner, New Republic, 21 Aug. 2000 He bared his chest to show the scar. finally bared the secret that she had kept to herself for so long
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective As the city hunkered down in the coronavirus pandemic, people stripped bare shelves in trendier grocers including Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, while downscale supermarkets such as Key Foods and Gristedes remained well supplied. Polly Mosendz, Bloomberg.com, "Fleeing to Hamptons, Buying Beans: NYC Virus Fears Trace Wealth Gap," 5 May 2020 The wire baskets lining the walls were bare; the bagels were in the back, ready to be packed up for deliveries. The New Yorker, "at the epicenter of the pandemic.," 27 Apr. 2020 Felicia Pearson-Catchings’ cupboards were bare, save for a few cans of corn and some soon-expiring meat. Adrienne Roberts, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan food pantries see 'intense demand' as coronavirus crisis worsens," 21 Apr. 2020 Within 45 minutes of opening, the shelves were completely bare, the Boston Globe reported. Fox News, "Here's what food banks need the most right now amid record demand during coronavirus," 15 Apr. 2020 But most Easter services this year will be more bare: just a preacher, a near-empty church and an online congregation. Daniel Burke, CNN, "There's no church, but it's still Easter and Christians are celebrating," 12 Apr. 2020 For weeks, grocery store shelves have been unusually bare, stripped of flour, yeast, milk, beans, and more—staple foods many rely on. National Geographic, "Communicating the risk," 10 Apr. 2020 Planning ahead for the day that the food pantry is bare? Popular Science, "How to start your own survival garden," 8 Apr. 2020 But while the streets are bare, the city’s spirit is still alive, its heart still beating — albeit under a separate cover. Alisha Prakash, Travel + Leisure, "New Yorkers Are Singing From Rooftops, Getting Hitched From Windows, and Exercising Together on Balconies to Stay Connected During Coronavirus," 8 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Of course in Pose, the what-if moments, like Candy’s posthumous reconciliation with her parents — are flashes of hope in a narrative that lays bare the dark reality of being trans in 1980s New York. Darren Franich, EW.com, "Hollywood review: Ryan Murphy's showbiz dramedy splits EW's critics," 29 Apr. 2020 The historic slump, mainly caused by China’s lockdowns of cities to contain the epidemic, first spotted in its central city Wuhan, lays bare what to expect even after relatively successful containment of the virus. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "The coronavirus outbreak might be nearly over in China, but economic hardship is not," 16 Apr. 2020 Where Ocean’s Eleven was all smooth style, Ocean’s Twelve is a knowing subversion that lays bare the ridiculous fallacy of movie-star charm. David Sims, The Atlantic, "30 Underrated Films You Should Revisit," 10 Apr. 2020 These attempts, including plans to assemble wireless earbuds in Vietnam and produce iPhones in India and Mac Pro computers in the U. S., have laid bare a number of difficulties. Yoko Kubota, WSJ, "Tim Cook and Apple Bet Everything on China. Then Coronavirus Hit.," 3 Mar. 2020 Among its other virtues, Heart Chamber lays bare the ludicrousness of the notion that opera is automatically cheapened or endangered by the use of electronically produced sound. Matthew Aucoin, The New York Review of Books, "Opera at the Edge," 7 Dec. 2019 The young man looks scared as the officers, who resemble Beavis and Butt-head, bare their yellowed teeth in savage grimaces. Sharon Mizota, Los Angeles Times, "Black man, white police and the sly tricks of the eye in Brandon Landers’ painting," 8 Aug. 2019 The last week laid bare a dizzying patchwork of local decision-making, as the largest quarantine in recent American history occurred in a juddering, piecemeal fashion. Ellen Barry, New York Times, "‘It’s Totally Ad Hoc’: Why America’s Virus Response Looks Like a Patchwork," 15 Mar. 2020 In his new book, The Myth of Chinese Capitalism: The Worker, the Factory, and the Future of the World, published by St. Martin’s Press, Roberts draws on his years of reporting in China to lay bare the systemic weaknesses of China’s economic system. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Why China’s economic miracle is a myth made possible by exploitation of workers," 8 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bare.' 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

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bare

Adjective and Verb

Middle English, from Old English bær; akin to Old High German bar naked, Lithuanian basas barefoot

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Time Traveler for bare

Time Traveler

The first known use of bare was before the 12th century

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Statistics for bare

Last Updated

19 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bare.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bare. Accessed 28 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for bare

How to pronounce bare (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bare

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not having a covering
: not covered by clothing, shoes, a hat, etc.
: not covered by leaves, grass, trees, or plants

bare

verb
How to pronounce bare (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bare (Entry 2 of 2)

: to remove the covering from (something)
\ ˈber How to pronounce bare (audio) \
barer; barest

Kids Definition of bare

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having no covering : naked bare feet The trees were bare of leaves.
2 : empty entry 1 sense 1 The cupboard was bare.
3 : having nothing left over or added : mere the bare necessities … Thorton was abreast of him and a bare half-dozen strokes away …— Jack London, The Call of the Wild
4 : bald sense 2 the bare facts

bare

verb
bared; baring

Kids Definition of bare (Entry 2 of 2)

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More from Merriam-Webster on bare

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bare

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bare

Spanish Central: Translation of bare

Nglish: Translation of bare for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bare for Arabic Speakers

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