bare·​ly | \ ˈber-lē How to pronounce barely (audio) \

Definition of barely

1 : in a meager manner : plainly a barely furnished room
2 : scarcely, hardly barely enough money for lunch

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Examples of barely in a Sentence

We barely spoke the entire time we were in the car. There are barely any new features in this software. There is barely a difference between the two.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The Warriors lost Kevin Durant barely a quarter after getting him back but got the win, cutting Toronto’s lead to 3-2 and sending the series back to Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., for Game 6 on Thursday. Brian Mahoney,, "Warriors lose Durant again, but still manage to hold off Raptors in Game 5," 11 June 2019 The news from the Midwest is dire, where there are reports of fields in Iowa still under water from flooding, and corn and soybean planting in several states has barely begun. Alison Arnett,, "Cold, wet spring made for some stressed-out farmers — and delayed strawberries," 10 June 2019 Jay Cook’s battered, barely 21-year-old body was discovered on Thanksgiving Day, 1987, two days after his 17-year-old girlfriend Tanya Van Cuylenborg was found dead in a ditch one county over. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "The First Murder Case to Use Family Tree Forensics Goes to Trial," 10 June 2019 Country music played on the radio, but Nathan Ivie barely heard it. David Montero,, "Mormon, Republican and gay: Politician Nathan Ivie breaks new ground for Utah," 10 June 2019 Perhaps Rihanna is onto something with her dress-over-pant getup: with a thin T-shirt and a gauzy, barely-there dress overtop, her version of the trend is as breezy as possible. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "First Bella, Now Rihanna: The Dress Over Pants Trend Is Here to Stay," 9 June 2019 If using fresh peas, cook peas just barely covered in water in a saucepan with a dash of salt until almost done, but still slightly firm, drain and allow to cool. 2. Philip Potempa, Post-Tribune, "Small town favorite restaurant hoping for new owners," 7 June 2019 Trailing 5-0, Anisimova could barely win a point in the semifinals on Friday. Tom Perrotta, WSJ, "Amanda Anisimova Falls at French Open Semifinal," 7 June 2019 That randomness can lead to barely explicable results. 1843, "A league of their own: how English clubs conquered Europe," 7 June 2019

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

circa 1513, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Statistics for barely

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for barely

The first known use of barely was circa 1513

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More Definitions for barely


bare·​ly | \ ˈber-lē\

Kids Definition of barely

1 : almost not The old man's voice was barely audible now.— Ellen Raskin, The Westing Game
2 : with nothing to spare : by a narrow margin I'd barely enough to eat. She barely passed the test.

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More from Merriam-Webster on barely

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with barely

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for barely

Spanish Central: Translation of barely

Nglish: Translation of barely for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of barely for Arabic Speakers

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