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 offense seemed to lack energy at times, barely getting snaps off, not trying enough no-huddle, once again seeming to lack that creative spark. Doug Lesmerises,, "Cleveland Browns raise the bar, get their first ‘yeah-but’ win in five years," 16 Sep. 2019 Fabiana says— fresh off the boat from Eastern Europe, and barely spoke English. Isabel Cristo, The New Republic, "Fashion Week’s Labor Problem Is Our Labor Problem," 11 Sep. 2019 Morgan’s pass went just over Bulldogs cornerback Juju Hughes, and Autman-Bell snared it and barely got his foot down in bounds. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Firsts for Fleck. Gophers’ poise leads to initial comeback wins for head coach," 11 Sep. 2019 At that time, Trump was barely speaking to McMaster and regularly did derogatory impressions of him in his absence, according to multiple current and former White House officials. NBC News, "As frustration with Bolton mounted, Trump reached out to ex-adviser McMaster," 10 Sep. 2019 From pizza and donuts, to French fries, fruits, and even flaming Cheetos, these nails barely miss a snack. Shalwah Evans, Essence, "11 Of The Tastiest Looking Nails On Instagram," 29 Aug. 2019 Before long, Charlie and Nicole are barely speaking, and Nora, speaking in savvy lawyerese cloaked in the soothing tones of a self-help guru, is calling the shots. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story Understands That No One Outside a Marriage Can Know the Truth of It," 29 Aug. 2019 Highlight of the game With the Colts trailing by two possessions late in the third, wide receiver Grady Burns made an incredible catch in the back of the end zone by barely getting the toes on his left foot to stay in bounds. Danny Shapiro, azcentral, "Arizona high school football: Key Week 1 game roundups," 23 Aug. 2019 Around the world, long-haul, low-cost airlines are barely getting by. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "Why Norwegian Air is failing," 21 Aug. 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

18 Oct 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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