bare|ly [ `berli ] adverb **
1. ) used for saying that something almost does not happen or exist, or is almost not possible: HARDLY, SCARCELY:
The roads were barely wide enough for two cars to pass.
There was barely a scratch on his car, but mine was totaled.
a barely audible whisper
He was so dizzy he could barely stand.
barely able to do something: He was barely able to see the road in the fog.
2. ) used for emphasizing that something happened only a very short time before something else:
He barely paused before jumping straight into the water.
The thought had barely come to me before it was gone again.
3. ) used for emphasizing how small an amount is:
He's barely 12 years old.
They had traveled barely a third of the way.

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Barely — Bare ly, adv. 1. Without covering; nakedly. [1913 Webster] 2. Without concealment or disguise. [1913 Webster] 3. Merely; only. [1913 Webster] R. For now his son is duke. W. Barely in title, not in revenue. Shak. [1913 Webster] 4. But just;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • barely — [ber′lē] adv. 1. without covering or disguise; plainly [stating the unpleasant facts barely] 2. only just; no more than [barely enough to eat] 3. meagerly; scantily [a barely furnished room] …   English World dictionary

  • barely — like hardly (see hard 2) and scarcely, should normally be followed by when, not than, if a clause follows: • Chance had barely begun to sip his drink when dinner was announced J. Kosinski, 1983 …   Modern English usage

  • barely — index purely (simply), solely (purely) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • barely — O.E. bærlice openly, clear, public; see BARE (Cf. bare) (adj.) + LY (Cf. ly) (2). Meaning only, just is recorded from late 15c.; that of merely, simply is from 1570s. In 15c. it also could mean naked …   Etymology dictionary

  • barely — [adj] not quite almost, hardly, just, only just, scantily, scarcely; concept 772 …   New thesaurus

  • barely — bare|ly [ˈbeəli US ˈberli] adv 1.) only with great difficulty or effort = ↑only just ▪ She was very old and barely able to walk. ▪ Mary had barely enough money to live on. barely audible/perceptible/visible/discernible etc ▪ His voice was barely… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • barely */*/ — UK [ˈbeə(r)lɪ] / US [ˈberlɪ] adverb 1) used for saying that something almost does not happen or exist, or is almost not possible He was so dizzy he could barely stand. The roads were barely wide enough for two cars to pass. There was barely a… …   English dictionary

  • barely — [[t]be͟ə(r)li[/t]] ♦♦♦ 1) ADV BRD NEG: ADV before v, ADV group, oft ADV amount You use barely to say that something is only just true or only just the case. Anastasia could barely remember the ride to the hospital... It was 90 degrees and the air …   English dictionary

  • barely — adverb 1 in a way that almost does not happen, exist etc; just: Her voice was so low, I could barely hear her. | We have barely enough money to live on. 2 in a way that is simple, with no decorations or details: The room was furnished barely. 3… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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