bar ‧ ri ‧ er W3 /ˈbæriə $ -ər/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: barriere , from barre ; ⇨ ↑ bar 1 ]
1 . a rule, problem etc that prevents people from doing something, or limits what they can do:
He advocated the removal of trade barriers.
Problems with childcare remain the biggest barrier to women succeeding at work.
barriers between doctors and patients
2 . a type of fence or gate that prevents people from moving in a particular direction:
Crowds burst through the barriers and ran onto the pitch.
3 . a physical object that keeps two areas, people etc apart
The mountains form a natural barrier between the two countries.
4 . the 10-second/40% etc barrier a level or amount of 10 seconds, 40% etc that is seen as a limit which it is difficult to get beyond:
I’m hoping to crash the 20-second barrier in the final and get a bronze.
⇨ ↑ sound barrier , ↑ crash barrier
• • •
■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + barrier
▪ trade barriers (=things such as taxes that make trade between countries difficult)
The aim was to remove trade barriers and open up free markets.
▪ the language barrier (=the problem of understanding people who do not speak the same language.)
Living in China was hard for me at first because of the language barrier.
▪ cultural/racial/class barriers
Sport is a sure way to break down racial barriers.
▪ social barriers
The Internet allows people of all ages to interact without the usual social barriers.
▪ technical/legal/political barriers
Most of the technical barriers have been solved.
▪ artificial barriers
They were committed to breaking down the artificial barriers to women’s achievement.
▪ regulatory barriers
Regulatory barriers have been an obstacle to international co-operation between police forces.
▪ bureaucratic barriers
This is one of many bureacratic barriers preventing the unemployed from claiming benefit.
▪ institutional/organizational barriers
Institutional barriers limit what can be achieved.
▪ break/tear down barriers
Most companies have broken down the old barriers of status among the workers.
▪ cross/transcend barriers (=avoid barriers that usually exist)
Music has the great advantage of crossing cultural barriers.
▪ remove/eliminate/lift barriers
Will this remove the barriers to change?
▪ overcome barriers
There are still many more barriers that need to be overcome.
▪ reduce/lower barriers
We should be reducing barriers to imports from poor countries.
▪ erect/build/put up barriers
Some kids have erected emotional barriers that stop them from learning.
▪ create barriers
Uniforms are one of the things that create barriers.
• • •
▪ wall an upright flat structure made of stone or brick, that divides one area from another or surrounds an area:
The estate is surrounded by high stone walls.
a brick wall
▪ fence a structure made of wood, metal etc that surrounds a piece of land:
The garden was surrounded by an old wooden fence.
the chain link fence around the school
▪ railings a metal fence that is made of a series of upright bars:
the iron railings in front of the house
The boy was leaning over the railing on the side of the boat.
▪ barrier a type of fence or gate that prevents people from moving in a particular direction:
A guard stood near the barrier.
The police had put up barriers to keep the crowd under control.
▪ screen a piece of furniture like a thin wall that can be moved around and is used to divide one part of a room from another:
the screen around his hospital bed
a Japanese bamboo screen
a fire screen (=that you put near a fire)
▪ partition a thin wall that separates one part of a room from another:
The room was divided into two by a thin partition.
The offices are separated by partitions and you can hear everything that is said in the next office.
▪ barricade a line of objects that people have put across a road, to prevent people getting past, especially as part of a protest:
The soldiers used tanks to smash through the barricades.