1. only a very short time before

Similar word(s): hardly, just, scarce, scarcely

2. almost not

- she barely seemed to notice him

- we were so far back in the theater, we could barely read the subtitles

Similar word(s): hardly, scarce, scarcely

3. by a little

- it was barely 5 a.m.

- the network has barely 5 percent of viewers

Similar word(s): just

Sentences with barely as an adverb:

- The plane is so far away now I can barely see it.

- Yes, it is barely visible.