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noun \ˈfen(t)s\

Simple Definition of fence

  • : a structure like a wall built outdoors usually of wood or metal that separates two areas or prevents people or animals from entering or leaving

  • : a person who buys stolen property from thieves and sells it

Full Definition of fence

  1. 1 archaic :  a means of protection :  defense

  2. 2 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. 3 :  fencing 1

  4. 4 a :  a receiver of stolen goods b :  a place where stolen goods are bought

fence·less play \-ləs\ adjective
fence·less·ness noun
on the fence
  1. :  in a position of neutrality or indecision

Examples of fence

  1. We put up a fence around our yard.

  2. <the only way to prevent motorists from trying to use that unsafe bridge is to put a fence across the road leading to it>

Origin of fence

Middle English fens, short for defens defense

First Known Use: 14th century

Other Combat Sports Terms




Simple Definition of fence

  • : to put a fence around (a place or area)

  • : to keep (something or someone) in or out with a fence

  • : to fight with swords : to practice the art or sport of fencing

Full Definition of fence


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to enclose with a fence b (1) :  to keep in or out with a fence (2) :  to ward off

  3. 2 :  to provide a defense for

  4. 3 :  to sell (stolen property) to a fence

  5. intransitive verb
  6. 1 a :  to practice fencing b (1) :  to use tactics of attack and defense resembling those of fencing (2) :  to parry arguments by shifting ground

  7. 2 archaic :  to provide protection

fenc·er noun

Examples of fence

  1. a house with a fenced-in yard

  2. He stole watches and fenced them on the street.

15th Century

First Known Use of fence

15th century

Rhymes with fence

Seen and Heard

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February 7, 2016

a slight offense

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