the irreducible minimum; the most essential components: Reduce this report to its bare bones. There is nothing left of the town but the bare bones—a couple of stores, a church, and a few houses.
bareRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
bad to the boneRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
- bare hands, with one's,
- bare infinitive,
- bare lymphocyte syndrome,
- bare necessities,
- bare one's soul
Origin of bare bones
First recorded in 1910–15
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
The mere essentials or plain, unadorned framework of something, as in This outline gives just the bare bones of the story; details will come later. This phrase transfers the naked skeleton of a body to figurative use. [c. 1900]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.