[ bair-lee ]
See synonyms for barely on
  1. only just; scarcely; no more than; almost not: He had barely enough money to pay for the car.

  2. without disguise or concealment; openly: They gave the facts to him barely.

  1. scantily; meagerly; sparsely.

  2. Archaic. merely.

Origin of barely

First recorded before 950; Middle English; Old English bærlīce; see bare1, -ly

usage note For barely

1. See hardly.

Words that may be confused with barely

Words Nearby barely Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use barely in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for barely


/ (ˈbɛəlɪ) /

  1. only just; scarcely: barely enough for their needs

  2. informal not quite; nearly: barely old enough

  1. scantily; poorly: barely furnished

  2. archaic openly


See hardly

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