Definition of barely in English:


See synonyms for barely

Translate barely into Spanish


  • 1Only just; almost not.

    ‘she nodded, barely able to speak’
    • ‘a barely perceptible pause’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It looked like it had struck her so violently that she was barely able to contain it.’
    • ‘Today I had a snooze before getting in the bath; right now I can barely sit up and I haven't eaten.’
    • ‘It was really awful making a kid who could barely sit still as it was meditate daily.’
    • ‘He could barely sit through Coach Quinn's speech in the boy's locker room.’
    • ‘He looked so vulnerable, barely sitting up with an arched back, and his face downcast.’
    • ‘We had barely been sitting there a minute and a leaf from a maple tree above me fell into my lap.’
    • ‘Just barely managing to remain sitting on the table was Kimrey, waving frantically at me to join her.’
    • ‘His study is so full of fossils and chemical apparatus of various kinds that there is barely room to sit down.’
    • ‘My last one just slightly less than that, and this one barely half the length of Moulin Rouge.’
    • ‘I've planned to cover 15 exhibitions in six hours but from experience you barely manage half.’
    • ‘I had to go round the flat, half asleep, eyes barely open, looking for a likely candidate for a bulb replacement.’
    • ‘She stood up and was shown to be attired in a short tan dress that barely reached her knees.’
    • ‘Why that album sat around doing barely any business for so many months is quite beyond me.’
    • ‘Ryden was barely two when they sat us down and told us they were having another baby.’
    • ‘It also helped that the plate was huge - so big, in fact, that Vicky and I could barely finish half of it.’
    • ‘The average land holding is barely half a hectare, which in these conditions is not enough on which to grow food for a year.’
    • ‘Fished on a floating line, the flies are lobbed slightly upstream barely an arm's length from the rod.’
    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
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    1. 1.1Only a short time before.
      ‘they had barely sat down when forty policemen swarmed in’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The second half had barely started when RI hooker Allport burst between two tacklers to score.’
      • ‘The half had barely started when Fitzgerald delivered a great pass to Cotter to send over a point.’
      • ‘The flight to safety has barely started.’
      • ‘Another notary had barely sat down to commence the signing process when the wife of the borrower began flirting with him.’
      • ‘It had barely rung once when Rudy answered. "Robert Charlton's phone."’
      • ‘Paulette’s bedsheets had barely cooled down when her telephone rang, erasing the lazy smile that curled the corners of her mouth.’
      • ‘When the reports arrived, black smoke was still pouring from the shelter, and the operation to recover bodies had barely begun.’
      • ‘Jeff Merkley's candidacy had barely gotten going and surely hadn't had time to register with many voters.’
  • 2In a simple and sparse way.

    ‘their barely furnished house’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Fully furnished apartments cost much, more than barely furnished apartments.’
    • ‘It was barely furnished: a small seating area with a glass coffee table at one end and the piano and stereo system at the other.’
    • ‘At night, when the moon is about to rise, this is what it can look like on the barely lit island of Fernando de Noronha.’
    • ‘It’s barely lit -candles align the walls and tables. The music: A subtle jazz number coming from the piano hidden in the corner.’
    • ‘A massive, red-lit room features a stage in the back corner and a beautiful 40-foot wood bar running the length of the north side, barely lit by table lamps and the backlit bar.’
  • 3 archaic Openly; explicitly.



/ˈberlē/ /ˈbɛrli/