barbed wire

\ ˈbärb(d)-ˈwī(-ə)r How to pronounce barbed wire (audio) , ˈbäb(d)-\

Definition of barbed wire

: twisted wires armed with barbs or sharp points

called also barbwire

Examples of barbed wire in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

By 2007 one in every 100 adults was typically housed in an isolated cinder-block compound surrounded by barbed wire. The Economist, "A jail in Denver offers some lessons for criminal-justice reformers," 28 June 2019 Our craft found an opening blown in the steel and barbed wire defenses at the beach and ploughed through. Washington Post, "AP Was There: D-Day correspondent returns 10 years later," 4 June 2019 At an army base in Rathedaung, a few miles from where the Arakan Army launched an attack this year, soldiers crouched behind fences of barbed wire and branches. Hannah Beech, New York Times, "The Government Cut Their Internet. Will Abuses Now Remain Hidden?," 2 July 2019 There isn’t much demilitarized about it: A minefield laced with barbed wire, it’s guarded by combat-ready troops on both sides and has been the site of numerous, sometimes deadly gunbattles and skirmishes. Washington Post, "DMZ, where Trump met Kim, is a vestige of Cold War," 30 June 2019 At nearly 20 feet high, Israel's concrete wall topped with barbed wire has become a flashpoint for anger against the country. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, "From 7 to 77: There's been an explosion in building border walls since World War II," 24 May 2018 For three years, his family lived in what was essentially a concentration camp, ringed with barbed wire, with about 9,000 other Japanese-Americans. Jon Gertner, WIRED, "The Top Secret Cold War Project That Pulled Climate Science From the Ice," 12 June 2019 Upon arrival, police took him to a complex on Turpan’s outskirts with barbed wire and armed guards. Josh Chin, WSJ, "China’s Uighur Camps Swell as Beijing Widens the Dragnet," 17 Aug. 2018 The woman suffered cuts on her hands and thighs from barbed wire during her escape from the airport, WABC-TV reported. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Woman breaches New Jersey airport security gate, leads police on wild pursuit," 19 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'barbed wire.' 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 wire

1874, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near barbed wire

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barbecue sauce


barbed wire




Statistics for barbed wire

Last Updated

21 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for barbed wire

The first known use of barbed wire was in 1874

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More Definitions for barbed wire

barbed wire


English Language Learners Definition of barbed wire

: wire that has sharp points and that is often used for fences

barbed wire


Kids Definition of barbed wire

: wire that has sharp points and is often used for fences

More from Merriam-Webster on barbed wire

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with barbed wire Encyclopedia article about barbed wire

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