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 audible.
She could barely understand English.
2.) almost not
= ↑hardly
She was barely aware of his presence.
Joe and his brother are barely on speaking terms.
3.) used to emphasize that something happens immediately after a previous action
British Equivalent: only just
Graham had barely finished his coffee when Henry returned.
4.) used before amounts or numbers to emphasize that they are surprisingly small
= ↑only
Nowadays the village has barely 100 inhabitants.
The party had been in government for barely seven months.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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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 [ 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… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern 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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