Meaning of FENCE in English


I. fence 1 S3 /fens/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Origin: defense ]

1 . a structure made of wood, metal etc that surrounds a piece of land

2 . a wall or other structure that horses jump over in a race or competition

3 . informal someone who buys and sells stolen goods

4 . sit/be on the fence to avoid saying which side of an argument you support

⇨ mend (your) fences at ↑ mend 1 (4)

• • •


▪ 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.

II. fence 2 BrE AmE verb

1 . [transitive] to put a fence around something:

old farmhouses and fenced gardens

2 . [intransitive] to fight with a long thin sword as a sport

3 . [intransitive + with] to answer someone’s questions in a clever way in order to get an advantage in an argument

fence somebody/something ↔ in phrasal verb

1 . to surround a place with a fence:

The yard was fenced in to keep out wolves.

2 . to make someone feel that they cannot leave a place or do what they want:

Young mothers often feel fenced in at home.

fence something ↔ off phrasal verb

to separate one area from another area with a fence:

a planting area fenced off from the main garden

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.