Bare Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

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The word bare has multiple definitions, so it’s essential to know how to use the right one in a sentence. For example, you can say something is bare or someone bares themselves, but these meanings are very different.

This article will cover the many meanings of bare and provide examples for each. This way, you’ll be able to avoid confusion when conveying your ideas.

What Is the Definition of the Word Bare? 

According to the English dictionary, bare is an adjective that means “having no covering or clothing.” It can also be used as a verb, meaning “to remove the covering from something.” The word comes from the Old English bær and has a related word in the Dutch baar (the latter of which can mean “bar”).

In its most simple form, the word bare is used to describe things that have a minimal amount of superfluous decoration or additions. 

Bare feet can be cold in wintertime and uncomfortable in shoes that don’t fit well. Bare facts are just as they sound — they are facts without embellishment or interpretation. 

A bare minimum is the least amount of something possible or necessary; it is often used to describe a situation where there is not enough of something to do what needs to be done. Bare walls are walls with no artwork or other decoration; they may also be bare because they have been stripped off plastering by renovators.

If you were to look in a thesaurus for word lists of synonyms for the word bare, you would likely find words including: 

  • Uncovered
  • Naked
  • Archaic
  • Denude
  • Necessities
  • Empty
  • Clear
  • Simple
  • Basic
  • Stripped

How is the Word Bare Used Metaphorically? 

Bare is a word often used metaphorically, referring to something stripped of all the unnecessary materials or to something that is only minimally covered. This can be seen in many different contexts, most commonly in the phrase “bare essentials,” which refers to the basic items needed for survival or living. 

Other examples of this metaphorical use include “bare walls,” “bare hands,” and “bare minimum.”

It can also be used to describe a lack of facts, such as in the phrase “bare bones.” This usage is similar to another term, “the bare essentials,” which refers to only things necessary for survival or success. You might hear someone say, “I’m sorry, but I don’t have time for the bare minimum—I have a lot on my plate right now.”

Here are some other commonly used contexts for the word bare: 

  • A bare majority means only 51% of people voted for something.
  • Bare bones refer to things like bone structure and small amounts of money.
  • Bare essentials are needed for survival — food, water, shelter — and bare walls lack paint on them.
  • If someone’s head is bareheaded (rather than covered with hair), they have no hat on
  • A room without furniture would be considered bare.
  • A tree without leaves would be called bare wood.
  • If your appearance is threadbare (a word that comes from the phrase “threadbare suit”), it means you’re wearing clothes that are starting to fall apart.

Example Sentences Using the Word Bare

One of the best ways to learn how to use words in the English language is by seeing them used in actual sentences. It can often be hard to figure out what a word means just by looking at it in a dictionary. 

Our team at The Word Counter loves using example sentences so much! Here are some of the best examples to learn from: 

Her head was bare, lacking the usual covering that she wore. 

The bare tree had no bark on it, making it easy to chop for the polish loggers. 

Even though the book was the unabridged version, its cover was utterly bare. 

The bare room had one shelf, and it was full of books written in British English and Middle English. 

My bare legs were so deeply sunburned that I looked like a tomato! 

The German bar had everything I needed for the basic necessities of life. 

Instead of wearing his traditional covering, he was the barest person in the room! 

Learning about adverbs, antonyms, and idioms had my brain stripped bare of interest in the class. 


Bare is a word that can be used in many different ways, and it is not just one thing. It has evolved from an adjective to a verb, noun, and adverb. While some people are confused by the use of bare as an adverb, it makes sense because bare means “fully exposed.” 

This word can also show up when describing how something makes you “bare your soul” or “bare your teeth,” which would mean that it leaves you naked or stripped down. 

In other words, bare is often used metaphorically to describe things that have been stripped away from what they usually cover up, such as skin hiding bones beneath it. 

If you’re looking for ways to improve your vocabulary and communication skills, start by consistently reading high-quality blogs and articles, such as the ones featured here on The Word Counter. You’ll expand your knowledge and understanding of language, naturally leading to quicker improvement.

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Bare Definition & Meaning |

Bare definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

Bare – Definition, Meaning & Synonyms |