bare bones


bare bones


  • most basic and important elements or facts
  • not detailed but only basic or essential facts of something
  • the basic framework and structure of something
  • containing only that is most important or needed
  • the irreducible least and the most crucial components
  • reduced to only the most basic or significant facts of an elaborate matter or thing
  • hardly sufficient or a tiny amount of money for a particular purpose (example #6, 7)
  • an arrangement or service that provides as little of something as possible (example #8, 9)

Example Sentences

  1. Wendy told us a bare-bones version of the long story.
  2. My boss only asked me to provide bare-bones. He doesn’t need all the details right now.
  3. Let me know the bare-bones before going through the whole matter.
  4. I am going to outline the bare bones of the story.
  5. As the Managing Director of the company was busy and did not have much time for her class-III employees, they gave her the bare bones of their complex issues.
  6. The board assigned a bare-bone budget which is certainly not sufficient for the maintenance of the project.
  7. My current budget is not even close to bare bones for house repairs.
  8. American Airlines’ basic economy is a bare-bones fare that gives you a standard coach seat.
  9. The soldiers have been given a bare-bones “Meal Ready-to-Eat” before leaving for the battlefield.
  10. Only the bare bones of the research have been presented at conferences.


The idiom’s original meaning is a skinny person to the maximum extent of skinniness who looks like a skeleton and couldn’t further weaken being alive. Its first use was recorded in 1598.

The idiom “bare-bones” (in the sense we use today) came into existence in the early 20th century and gained popularity after the 1940s.

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