- only just; scarcely; no more than; almost not: He had barely enough money to pay for the car.
- without disguise or concealment; openly: They gave the facts to him barely.
- scantily; meagerly; sparsely.
- Archaic. merely.
Origin of barely
1. See hardly.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for barely
Indeed, as an almost purely advisory firm, Lazard is (appropriately) barely affected by the Dodd-Frank reforms.Antonio Weiss Is Not Part of the Problem
January 7, 2015
We were barely into the appetizer when he asked a fairly basic question—where did my family live?Everyone at This Dinner Party Has Lost Someone
January 6, 2015
Throughout all the stories of loss and pain with the Chief, there was barely a trace of emotion.
The star of the film was Glenn Ford, but I barely noticed him.
But even when the jet will be able to shoot its gun, the F-35 barely carries enough ammunition to make the weapon useful.New U.S. Stealth Jet Can’t Fire Its Gun Until 2019
December 31, 2014
I got all worried up about him, barely peckin' at a crumb or two.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
Andrew was barely in time to save the contents of the sack from her teeth.Way of the Lawless
Yet here he was, barely of age, and almost soured by disappointments.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
Is his pronunciation of English words any thing but barely intelligible?
You have barely finished your experiments, and now you're planning my ruin.The Bacillus of Beauty
- only just; scarcelybarely enough for their needs
- informal not quite; nearlybarely old enough
- scantily; poorlybarely furnished
- archaic openly
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for barely
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper