bare

adjective
\ˈber \
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 \
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

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

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.

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.

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

Every aspect of Crosby’s life is laid bare for close inspection in this penetrating biography, from his tough negotiations with employers to his most casual dealings with servants and staff. Ted Gioia, WSJ, "‘Bing Crosby’ Review: Nothin’ but Blue Skies," 8 Nov. 2018 This served to help the Reds achieve a Champions League spot for a second successive season and allowed them to progress to the very game where Karius's flaws were laid bare. SI.com, "Why Liverpool Need to Forget Signing a New Keeper & Stick With Loris Karius," 10 July 2018 His first look, a matte seafoam double-breasted suit, is paired with an enormous gold pendant, a bare chest, and a thick gold ring. Liz Raiss, GQ, "Jay-Z Brought His Entire Suit Collection to the "APES**T" Video," 18 June 2018 President-elect Ivan Duque appealed for unity after winning a runoff election over a leftist firebrand whose ascent shook Colombia's political establishment and laid bare deep divisions over the nation's peace process. Christine Armario And Joshua Goodman, The Christian Science Monitor, "Colombia's president-elect appeals for unity after runoff election," 18 June 2018 Although the negotiations have laid bare the cost of such a policy, the government has stuck to its demands and red lines. The Economist, "Britain is heading for a soft Brexit," 16 June 2018 This season has opened up Serena Joy in intriguing ways, laying bare both her isolation and her complicity. Laura Bradley, HWD, "Has Serena Joy Become The Handmaid’s Tale’s Most Poignant Character?," 13 June 2018 The extent of the graft was laid bare in separate probes conducted by the nation’s graft ombudsman, a group of leading academics and panels of lawmakers. Michael Cohen, Bloomberg.com, "South Africa Faces Long Haul to Roll Back Scourge of Corruption," 5 June 2018 But Johnson laid bare his regulatory intentions after being apparently infuriated by some of Gottlieb’s recent comments to reporters and on Twitter. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Drug access law Trump just signed will cripple FDA—senator is making sure of it," 1 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Atletico started to bare their teeth toward the end of the half and David Ospina had to be alert to prevent Antoine Griezmann scoring his 27th goal of the season. SI.com, "Arsenal 1-1 Atletico Madrid: Griezmann Strikes Late to Earn Away Goal & Hand Atleti Advantage," 26 Apr. 2018 While the official immediately waved away the claims upon seeing the replay of a loose ball hitting the Argentina defender's head before his arm, Messi admits that the psychological effects of even going to the video assistant were hard to bare. SI.com, "Messi Reveals What He Told His Teammates at Half Time to Inspire Argentina to Victory Over Nigeria," 27 June 2018 As monsoon rains bare down on sprawling Rohingya camps in Bangladesh, the U.N. warns that some 200,000 refugees sheltering on the swampland are at risk from landslides and flooding. Laignee Barron, Time, "Landslides and Flooding Threaten 200,000 Rohingya Refugees as Monsoon Rains Lash Into Bangladesh Camps," 15 June 2018 For therapy to work, patients need to bare their soul and put trust in the therapist, which gives the therapist tremendous power. Felice J. Freyer, BostonGlobe.com, "Nine to 12 percent of mental health professionals have had sexual contact with patients," 4 June 2018 Less than 30 minutes later, the midwife moved aside, and Chris caught his son bare-handed. Anndee Hochman, Philly.com, "The Parent Trip: Lisa and Christopher Browne of West Mount Airy," 1 May 2018 The Justice Department statement Thursday laid bare some of the tactics used by Credit Suisse to hire princelings. Brian Blackstone, WSJ, "Credit Suisse Fined $77 Million Over ‘Relationship Hires’ in Asia," 5 July 2018 The room is bare, its walls bare too but there is laughter and, most importantly, now there are no cages. Diane Herbst, PEOPLE.com, "Inside the N.Y.C Facility Where More than 200 Migrant Children Spend Their Days," 21 June 2018 People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, and people who imagine Glass Mansion bare their soul on nine-track EPs -- or, at least, Elephante does. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Elephante Shares & Breaks Down 'Glass Mansion' EP: Exclusive," 14 June 2018

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

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

Verb

see bare entry 1

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Learn More about bare

Dictionary Entries near bare

bardship

Bardstown

bardy

bare

bare'e

bare-assed

bareback

Statistics for bare

Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bare

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

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More Definitions for bare

bare

adjective

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

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

: to remove the covering from (something)

bare

adjective
\ˈber \
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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Comments on bare

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