n., v., & prep.
n. 1 a long rod or piece of rigid wood, metal, etc., esp. used as an obstruction, confinement, fastening, weapon, etc. 2 a something resembling a bar in being (thought of as) straight, narrow, and rigid (bar of soap; bar of chocolate). b a band of colour or light, esp. on a flat surface. c the heating element of an electric fire. d = CROSSBAR. e Brit. a metal strip below the clasp of a medal, awarded as an extra distinction. f a sandbank or shoal at the mouth of a harbour or an estuary. g Brit. a rail marking the end of each chamber in the Houses of Parliament. h Heraldry a narrow horizontal stripe across a shield. 3 a a barrier of any shape. b a restriction (colour bar; a bar to promotion). 4 a a counter in a public house, restaurant, or café across which alcohol or refreshments are served. b a room in a public house in which customers may sit and drink. c US a public house. d a small shop or stall serving refreshments (snack bar). e a specialized department in a large store (heel bar). 5 a an enclosure in which a prisoner stands in a lawcourt. b a public standard of acceptability, before which a person is said to be tried (bar of conscience). c a plea arresting an action or claim in a law case. d a particular court of law. 6 Mus. a any of the sections of usu. equal time-value into which a musical composition is divided by vertical lines across the staff. b = bar-line. 7 (the Bar) Law a barristers collectively. b the profession of barrister.
v.tr. (barred, barring) 1 a fasten (a door, window, etc.) with a bar or bars. b (usu. foll. by in, out) shut or keep in or out (barred him in). 2 obstruct, prevent (bar his progress). 3 a (usu. foll. by from) prohibit, exclude (bar them from attending). b exclude from consideration (cf. BARRING). 4 mark with stripes. 5 Law prevent or delay (an action) by objection.
prep. 1 except (all were there bar a few). 2 Racing except (the horses indicated: used in stating the odds, indicating the number of horses excluded) (33-1 bar three). bar billiards a form of billiards in which balls are knocked into holes in the table. bar chart a chart using bars to represent quantity. bar-code a machine-readable code in the form of a pattern of stripes printed on and identifying a commodity, used esp. for stock-control. bar-line Mus. a vertical line used to mark divisions between bars. bar none with no exceptions. bar person a barmaid or barman. bar sinister = bend sinister (see BEND(2)). bar tracery tracery with strips of stone across an aperture. be called to the Bar Brit. be admitted as a barrister. be called within the Bar Brit. be appointed a Queen's Counsel. behind bars in prison. the outer Bar barristers who are not Queen's Counsels.
[ ME f. OF barre, barrer, f. Rmc ]