barely

adverb
bare·​ly | \ ˈber-lē \

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

O’Rourke was born in prestige, lived a charmed life, raised in an upper-class lifestyle by people accustomed to power -- a sharp contrast to that of a mostly Mexican-American, hardscrabble city where workers still barely make ends meet... James Freeman, WSJ, "Too Soon for Democrats To Dump Elizabeth Warren?," 7 Dec. 2018 Pumpkin spice season has barely gotten started and gorgeous holiday collections are already jingling into our carts. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "Natasha Denona Is Launching a Gold Eye Shadow Palette to Give Your Eyes the Midas Touch," 27 Sep. 2018 Eli barely knows big brother at this point in his life, and Dad has plenty of skepticism, but Jimmy seems alright. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Kin: If you can’t pick your family, hopefully you can find space weapons," 1 Sep. 2018 This isn't the first time Middleton has won one: she was spotted back in October 2016 wearing a barely detectable net over a neat chignon. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "This is Why Kate Middleton Likes to Wear Hairnets," 11 July 2018 One Eden Hazard whips a shot toward the outside post from inside the box, but Raphaël Varane barely got the back of his head on it to hit it behind for a corner. Rory Smith, New York Times, "France, With Flash to Spare, Reaches the World Cup Final," 11 July 2018 Also, Alice is barely stable enough to take care of her own daughter right now, let alone dozens of misplaced teens. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "The "Riverdale" Mid-Season Finale Left Us Shook and With Multiple Questions," 13 Dec. 2018 Moreover, Democrats prevailed, barely, in a key Senate race in Arizona. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "How Democrats’ Rust Belt Success Alters 2020 Picture," 19 Nov. 2018 Even Kiernan Shipka's Sabrina is seen dabbling in rich, red shades that go beyond her usual barely-tinted lip balm. Marci Robin, Allure, "The Lipsticks Worn by the Witches of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Are Surprisingly Pricey," 1 Nov. 2018

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

11 Jan 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

barely

adverb
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

Comments on barely

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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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