\ 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 work is incisive and full of rightful despair, while making of whimsy a wonderfully barbed weapon. Leah Ollman, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Don’t tell Elyse Pignolet to ‘calm down.’ How one artist answers sexism with a roar," 23 Oct. 2019 Ziering and Priestley are enjoying lightly barbed self-parody. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "'BH90210': TV Review," 7 Aug. 2019 Treviño, another second-place finisher, was preparing a considerably more barbed approach in his campaign against Jones. Bill Lambrecht, San Antonio Express-News, "bl,ds," 9 Mar. 2018 In 2016, stories claimed that 11 cast members of The Walking Dead had filmed death scenes in order to throw viewers off the scent after Season 6’s big cliffhanger, in which an unseen series regular fell prey to Negan and his barbed bat. Joanna Robinson,, "Is the Latest Game of Thrones Rumor a Hoax Itself?," 14 Sep. 2017 In many ways, that battle has not been fully joined because other Republican leaders, despite their private misgivings, have been so reluctant to publicly articulate a clear critique of Trump’s insular, racially barbed nationalism. Ronald Brownstein, The Atlantic, "Why a Republican Pollster Is Losing Faith in Her Party," 31 Aug. 2017 The McCain collision prompted China to respond with a barbed message of support. Jake Maxwell Watts, WSJ, "Divers Discover Remains in Search for Missing Sailors From USS John S. McCain," 24 Aug. 2017 Fearful store owners began bricking up their windows and installing barbed wire on the roofs, bars on the windows and Plexiglas shields between customers and clerks. Bill Mcgraw, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit 67: The deep scars the city still feels today," 29 July 2017 The company notes on its website that windmills were a high-tech invention — along with barbed wire — in the late 19th century and hastened western expansion. Louis Hansen, The Mercury News, "Wind – it’s not a breezy way to power a Bay Area home," 15 June 2017

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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Time Traveler for barbed

Time Traveler

The first known use of barbed was in 1611

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Cite this Entry

“Barbed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for barbed


How to pronounce barbed (audio)

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

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Spanish Central: Translation of barbed

Nglish: Translation of barbed for Spanish Speakers

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