barbed wire

\ ˈbärb(d)-ˈwī(-ə)r, 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

But to smell it, taste it and see the gas chambers, the barracks and the barbed wire up close was life-altering. Bob Mckillop, Washington Post, "Why take our college basketball team to Auschwitz?," 3 July 2018 That’s the one where Bray sails over the electric fence (dragging the pink belly along it), between barbed wire strands and into a small alleyway between fences with a neighbor’s property. Orlando Sentinel,, "Pig detente: Mischievous Bray stays in the fence — sort of," 6 Apr. 2018 In an event at the Boston Public Library Tuesday, Takei will talk about his family's history in the camps that put Japanese-Americans behind barbed wire between 1942 and 1946. Fox News, "'Star Trek' actor George Takei to discuss internment camps," 8 May 2018 Trump’s administration has deployed more than 5,000 US military troops to the US-Mexico border, at first tasking them with mostly logistical work, and to help fortify the border with barbed wire in light of a migrant caravan from Central America. Tara Golshan, Vox, "What Trump’s “lethal force” authorization means at the border," 27 Nov. 2018 After the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, the federal government interned 120,000 Japanese-Americans in about a dozen camps, typically in barracks, one family to a room, and cut off from the outside world by barbed wire. Benedict Carey, New York Times, "Reuniting and Detaining Migrant Families Pose New Mental Health Risks," 22 June 2018 Once inside the camp, which remains surrounded by barbed wire, visitors walk quickly through a maze of barracks. Wojciech Moskwa,, "Lessons of Auschwitz Get Blurred in Poland," 2 Mar. 2018 In addition to an unsightly chain-link fence topped with barbed wire, the property is strewn with weeds, landscaping debris and trash. Parker Leavitt, azcentral, "Readers' picks: Worst Phoenix eyesores of 2015," 4 Nov. 2015 Young added that the inmates used bedsheets to climb over the barbed wire fence. Fox News, "Dad helped son after escape from South Carolina prison; 2 murder suspects still on the loose, officials say," 22 May 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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barbecue pit

barbecue sauce


barbed wire




Statistics for barbed wire

Last Updated

20 Jan 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

Comments on barbed wire

What made you want to look up barbed wire? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to gather or build up little by little

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