Meaning of FENCE in English


I. ˈfen(t)s noun

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English fens, short for defens defense

Date: 14th century

1. archaic : a means of protection : defense


a. : a barrier intended to prevent escape or intrusion or to mark a boundary ; especially : such a barrier made of posts and wire or boards

b. : an immaterial barrier or boundary line

on the other side of the fence in the argument

3. : fencing 1


a. : a receiver of stolen goods

b. : a place where stolen goods are bought

• fence·less -ləs adjective

• fence·less·ness noun

- on the fence

II. verb

( fenced ; fenc·ing )

Date: 15th century

transitive verb


a. : to enclose with a fence


(1) : to keep in or out with a fence

(2) : to ward off

2. : to provide a defense for

3. : to sell (stolen property) to a fence

intransitive verb


a. : to practice fencing


(1) : to use tactics of attack and defense resembling those of fencing

(2) : to parry arguments by shifting ground

2. archaic : to provide protection

• fenc·er noun

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.