Meaning of BARRIER in English


I. ˈbarēə(r) also ˈber- noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English barrere, from Middle French barriere, from barre bar

1. obsolete : barricade ; especially : an outer defense to impede or stop an enemy

2. : a material object or set of objects that separates, keeps apart, demarcates, or serves as a unit or barricade: as

a. : the palisades that enclosed the lists in medieval tournaments — usually used in plural


(1) or barrier beach also barrier bar : a long narrow sandy island lying parallel to a shore and built up by the action of waves, currents, and wind — called also offshore bar ; see barrier island

(2) sometimes capitalized : an extension of the antarctic continental ice sheet into the sea resting partly on the bottom

c. : the gate where customs duties are collected at the boundaries of some European countries

d. : a railing or other separation between the station building and train platforms in some European countries with openings to permit the passage of arriving and departing passengers


(1) : potential barrier

(2) : a movable net or structure serving in an emergency to halt a landing airplane eps. on an aircraft carrier when the tail hook has failed to engage the arresting gear

f. : a porous partition (as a thin sheet of silver-zinc alloy from which the zinc has been dissolved out) used in atmolysis

g. in packaging : a flexible material that can be formed into a container preventing or limiting the entrance of moisture, retaining flavors or oils, and otherwise protecting its contents

h. : a solid usually white or yellow warning line painted between traffic lanes of a highway

3. barriers plural , often capitalized : a medieval war game in which combatants fought on foot with a fence or railing between them — often used in the phrase at barriers


a. : the starting point in an ancient racecourse

b. : the movable gate or device at the starting line in a modern racetrack which is opened to signal the start of a race

5. : something intangible or immaterial that acts as a barrier (as by impeding or separating)

psychological and social barriers to increased agricultural production — G.P.Wibberley

the barrier between the craft and scholarly traditions — S.F.Mason

6. : a factor (as a topographic feature or a physical or physiological quality) that tends to restrict the free movement and mingling of individuals or populations — compare isolating mechanism

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

: to obstruct or confine by a barrier

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.