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Related to barely: barley water, barley

to barely make it

1. To come very close to failing at something but succeed in the end. That marathon was so exhausting, I barely made it! I barely made it through math class this semester.
2. To come very close to being late for something, such as a deadline, appointment, class, etc., but manage to arrive on time in the end. A shortening of "barely make it on time." If you leave right now, you'll just barely make it to the film before it starts.
See also: barely, make

to barely make it on time

To come very close to being late for something (such as a deadline, appointment, class, etc.) but manage to arrive on time in the end. Traffic was so bad this morning that I barely made it on time to the meeting. I was finishing my essay right up until the minute before it was due. I barely made it on time!
See also: barely, make, on, time

can barely hear (oneself) think

Unable to concentrate or think clearly because there is too much noise or commotion around oneself. Kids, go outside to play! I can barely hear myself think with you shouting like that! With the noise of the construction outside her window, she could barely hear herself think.
See also: barely, can, hear, think
References in periodicals archive ?
Popular for providing women with bras and panties that offer sophistication, comfort and everyday style, the Barely There brand introduces a revolutionary bra that combines comfort with wear-ability.
Stock markets soared, the Greeks got a shedload of extra cash and Frau Merkel and M Sarkozy could barely conceal their smug grins.
Dana had barely been through her initial military training in the Navy when a violent crime left her with a broken neck and paralysis.
A FANTASTIC array of local music is to be heard on the debut release from Cardiff-based record label Barely Regal.
HE'S barely old enough to drive, but Alex Gardner's good looks and textbook pop songs ensured a strong turnout of teenage girls.
Diane Coates was left partially disabled and barely able to use her left arm after the accident in Middlesbrough town centre during a family night out.
In my view, tennis must be the most physically demanding sport on earth - the players barely get five minutes break during a game and the finalists have usually competed in semi-finals days before, with barely 48 hours rest.
Iran has imported 6 million tonnes of various grains including wheat, rice, corn and barely during the first 8 months of the current Iranian year (March-November).
It did not help that a special defense designed for the Rose Bowl barely got used.
That would be the same Jordan and Peter whose joint IQ wouldn't make double figures, the same J and P who can barely string a sentence together let alone interview anyone.
They are the uncommonly common folk, who barely eke out an existence, facing adversity after adversity, but who name their own freedom as they turn around disappointed lives in the most unsuspecting ways.
I thought I could make it through the semester but I can barely dance.
His admixture of comedy and pathos, absurdity and realism, and his playful touch make it so you barely feel the political sting.
What barely saves his project from degenerating into a love letter to the past is his un-Romantic subject matter, which is almost insignificant in its utter banality.