noun, often attributive \ˈfen(t)s\

: 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

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>
:  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
:  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

foil, riposte, welter



: 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

transitive verb
a :  to enclose with a fence
b (1) :  to keep in or out with a fence
(2) :  to ward off
:  to provide a defense for
:  to sell (stolen property) to a fence
intransitive verb
a :  to practice fencing
b (1) :  to use tactics of attack and defense resembling those of fencing
(2) :  to parry arguments by shifting ground
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.

First Known Use of FENCE

15th century

Rhymes with FENCE


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May 27, 2015
riot act Hear it
a vigorous reprimand or warning
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