bare necessities

Idioms & Phrases

bare necessities

Just sufficient resources, with nothing to spare. For example, The room was furnished with just the bare necessitiesbed, table, chair. This idiom uses bare in the sense of "mere, and nothing else," a usage dating from about 1200.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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