Fain, a fiery leader who won the UAW presidency in the union’s first direct election this spring, peppered his address with biblical references and barbs against billionaires.—Jeanne Whalen, Washington Post, 13 Sep. 2023 Washington Post Ramaswamy’s debate comment echoes Obama from 2004
Zingers and barbs flew across the stage during Wednesday night’s Republican primary debate in Milwaukee, but one of the most attention-grabbing candidate quotes wasn’t even an attack.—BostonGlobe.com, 24 Aug. 2023 Trading barbs over a special Waukegan City Council meeting Aug. 16 which failed to materialize, a contentious relationship between Mayor Ann Taylor and Ald.—Steve Sadin, Chicago Tribune, 23 Aug. 2023 As the groups intermingle, sparks and barbs fly in equal measure between Noah and Will, who must look past their own senses of, well, pride and prejudice to recognize the attraction between them.—Tyler Coates, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Aug. 2023 For nearly two months, a trial that began in April 2022 featured the two Hollywood stars – and their lawyers – trading insults, barbs and accusations, much to the entertainment of a global audience who followed the proceedings closely.—Eric Lagatta, USA TODAY, 27 July 2023 Statham and Fox's characters wrestle around their home and trade verbal barbs at each other, eventually crashing through two double doors and into a bathroom.—Tommy McArdle, Peoplemag, 31 Aug. 2023 Sacramento's mayor traded barbs with the DA over an ''unprecedented'' homelessness crisis.—USA TODAY, 9 Aug. 2023 Jimmy Donaldson, better known as MrBeast, and the ghost kitchen company behind his virtual burger restaurant chain are trading barbs in a legal battle that will decide the fate of whether MrBeast Burger operates under the YouTube megastar’s brand.—Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Aug. 2023
Her name is Cleve, and she is played by an exceptional Clare Perkins, whose delivery is barbed and steely.—Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2019 That’s okay when a lively minnow is barbed through the lips or nostrils, but when fishing cover, baits often pull off quickly.—Bob McNally, Field & Stream, 20 Mar. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'barb.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English barbe barb, beard, from Anglo-French, from Latin barba — more at beard
French barbe, from Italian barbero, from barbero of Barbary, from Barberia Barbary, coastal region in Africa