\ ˈbärbd How to pronounce barbed (audio) \

Definition of barbed

1 : having barbs
2 : characterized by pointed and biting criticism or sarcasm barbed witticisms

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Examples of barbed in a Sentence

The candidates exchanged barbed comments during the debate. barbed satire on American academia
Recent Examples on the Web The outdoor space at the nature center, which used to be surrounded by barbed-wire fencing, now features a seating area with bistro tables and chairs where community members can gather to view the lake and gardens. cleveland, 7 June 2021 Some current justices adhere to the Scalia method of legal interpretation, known as originalism, and his barbed style. Joan Biskupic, CNN, 21 May 2021 Participants in this class will learn to use a special barbed needle to turn the softest of materials, wool roving, into portraits of their pets., 7 May 2021 Especially notable were Zarif’s barbed comments about Maj. Washington Post, 26 Apr. 2021 The Taser can fire two barbed darts that are connected to thin wires. Matt Mckinney, Star Tribune, 12 Apr. 2021 But that assessment contains a barbed punchline best left to viewers. Andrew Dansby, Chron, 29 Mar. 2021 Under the reserved posture of a skilled and stalwart news executive, Mr. Lewis nursed an unshakable love of Washington gossip and barbed comedy. Washington Post, 22 Mar. 2021 Donato, broadcasting from his home kitchen, tells the class to trim the barbed outer petals from their artichokes until only the tender hearts remain. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, 17 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'barbed.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of barbed

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for barbed

Last Updated

18 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Barbed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for barbed



English Language Learners Definition of barbed

: having a sharp point that sticks out and backward from a larger point : having a barb
: expressing criticism in an unkind and often clever way

More from Merriam-Webster on barbed

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for barbed

Nglish: Translation of barbed for Spanish Speakers


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