\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from bare

Adjective

bareness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for bare

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The crisis laid bare banking cultures that were all too commonly characterized by loose lending standards and undisciplined expansion. Adam Seessel, Fortune, "Valuation: The coronavirus is crushing airlines, but these stocks should bounce back," 24 June 2020 Ours is bare, with a rubbery gray coating occasionally interrupted by strips of plain black bitumen. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "Quarantined in New York, We Escape Skyward," 23 June 2020 The house is not exactly empty—the furniture is not gone, the walls are not bare—but there is something stale about it, like returning from a long trip, all the usual evidence of wear turned into something ominous: signs of life. Clare Sestanovich, Harper's Magazine, "Annunciation," 23 June 2020 But as the pandemic has laid bare, the ongoing legacy of colonization has left Native communities at a higher risk for spreading the coronavirus. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Your Road Trip Is Not More Important Than Indian Country," 19 June 2020 McCorkle says the combined impact of the COVID-19 crisis, which has taken a disproportionate toll on African Americans, and the death of Floyd and the protests that followed have laid bare racial inequities in ways that can't be ignored. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "Juneteenth gains new attention and corporate support in a year of racial unrest," 19 June 2020 All of us as academic leaders can help to bind the gaping wounds of racial injustice that have, once again, been laid bare for all the world to see. Time, "The Righteous Revulsion Driving the Demands for Racial Change in America," 19 June 2020 The dangers that armed militias bring with them were laid bare this week in Albuquerque, where a 31-year-old was arrested in connection with a shooting that injured a protester seeking the removal of a statue of a Spanish conquistador. Anchorage Daily News, "As protests spread to small-town America, militia groups respond with armed intimidation and online threats," 18 June 2020 That disparity was also laid bare in last week’s jobs data, when a surprise drop in overall unemployment masked the fact that black joblessness has climbed to its highest level in more than a decade. Stephanie Flanders, Bloomberg.com, "Black Joblessness Shows Fed Must Look at Inequality," 17 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Kenedi and Xavier are separated by not much more than a ZIP code, but educators say that’s enough to make a world of difference as the pandemic lays bare the existing disparities in the U.S. education system and worse, threatens to exacerbate them. NBC News, "A tale of two ZIP codes: COVID-19 exposes deep disparities in U.S. schools," 8 June 2020 Their financial might also lays bare the fissure in corporate America between the haves and have nots. Jay Greene, BostonGlobe.com, "Big Tech was first to send workers home. Now it’s in no rush to bring them back.," 18 May 2020 One of the first steps Ivey demands of her clients is to bare all. Leslie Patton, Bloomberg.com, "Purging Your Stuff Is the New Conspicuous Consumption," 10 May 2020 At its best, Trying candidly lays bare the emotional filigree of failing to conceive a child and choosing to devote your life to a tiny stranger. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Trying': TV Review," 30 Apr. 2020 Okunowo said even though older women are able to conceive through IVF, doctors must lay bare the medical risks associated with being pregnant at that age. Bukola Adebayo, CNN, "Nigerian woman, 68, gives birth to twins after four IVF attempts," 22 Apr. 2020 The pandemic also lays bare the many vulnerabilities created by society’s dependence on the internet. Jennifer Daskal, The Conversation, "Society’s dependence on the internet: 5 cyber issues the coronavirus lays bare," 27 Mar. 2020 For nearly a decade, Montgomery County’s longest-running general store has sat quiet and empty, its whitewashed shelves bare, the smell of bean stew and liver sandwiches gone with the family that served this community for generations. Washington Post, "General store in Maryland gets new life after renovation and archaeological find," 19 Oct. 2019 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bare

Time Traveler for bare

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for bare

Last Updated

28 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bare.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bare. Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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)

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on bare

What made you want to look up bare? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!