bare bones

Idioms & Phrases

bare bones

The mere essentials or plain, unadorned framework of something, as in This outline gives just the bare bones of the story; details will come later. This phrase transfers the naked skeleton of a body to figurative use. [c. 1900]

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