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barely Line breaks: bare¦ly
Pronunciation: /ˈbɛːli/

Definition of barely in English:


1Only just; almost not: she nodded, barely able to speak [as submodifier]: a barely perceptible pause
More example sentences
  • She nodded her head, barely able to keep the silly grin from her face.
  • However, Mr Selwood says the fear of being homeless has left him a broken man barely able to eat.
  • If I lose my balance, if I fall over, into the mud, in this much pain, barely able to move, I may not get up.
hardly, scarcely, just, only just, narrowly, by the skin of one's teeth, by a hair's breadth, by a very small margin, by the narrowest of margins, by a nose;
almost not
informal by a whisker
1.1Only a very short time before: they had barely sat down before forty policemen swarmed in
More example sentences
  • We'd barely sat down before a gang of teenagers, all masked, came rampaging in.
  • Daum skulked away to be replaced by Rudi Voeller, who had barely sat down before he was off to be national coach.
  • We had barely sat down when the a group of four diners in the restaurant demanded to see the chef.
2In a simple and sparse way: their barely furnished house
More example sentences
  • He walked around the table as the others sat in his dark palace, barely lit by a few small lamps.
  • I write this story to you from my barely furnished two windowed room where I await the one thing I hold dearest to me.
  • Will you buy a lot with a fully furnished house, a barely furnished house, a stripped house or with no accompanying house at all?
3 archaic Openly; explicitly.
Definition of barely in:
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