Meaning of “barely” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"barely" in British English

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uk /ˈbeə.li/ us /ˈ

B2 by the smallest amount:

They have barely enough (= no more than what is needed) to pay the rent this month.
She was barely (= only just) 15 when she won her first championship.

More examples

  • The writing on the tombstone was barely visible.
  • His wages are barely enough to keep body and soul together.
  • After paying for our travel costs, we barely broke even.
  • The council's provision for the elderly is barely adequate.
  • There was a barely perceptible movement in his right arm.

(Definition of “barely” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"barely" in American English

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barelyadverb [ not gradable ]

us /ˈbeər·li/

by the smallest amount; only just:

There was barely enough room for the two of them.
The dark line of the mountains was barely visible against the night sky.

(Definition of “barely” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)