- only just; scarcely; no more than; almost not: He had barely enough money to pay for the car.
- without disguise or concealment; openly: They gave the facts to him barely.
- scantily; meagerly; sparsely.
- Archaic. merely.
- only just; scarcelybarely enough for their needs
- informal not quite; nearlybarely old enough
- scantily; poorlybarely furnished
- archaic openly
Old English bærlice “openly, clear, public;” see bare (adj.) + -ly (2). Meaning “only, just” is recorded from late 15c.; that of “merely, simply” is from 1570s. In 15c. it also could mean “naked.”