barbed wire

noun
\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

In one instance, there is a crying, singular eye on the sleeve that is outlined in barbed wire. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Decoding the Georgian and Russian Symbols at Vetements," 2 July 2018 Navy conscripts maneuver through barbed wires during a training session in the southeastern city of Changwon in January. Eun-young Jeong, WSJ, "Court Orders South Korea to Overhaul Hallowed Conscription Law," 28 June 2018 Site/Less designed by David Sundry, sits at the T where Willard meets Augusta, an empty lot traced with barbed wire to the south, el tracks to the west. Irene Hsiao, Chicago Reader, "Zephyr Dance's new venue SITE/less makes its debut with a joyful, inventive dance performance," 1 May 2018 Vitex is as old as Texas road dust and barbed wire. Neil Sperry, star-telegram, "The vivacious and venerable vitex is a plant you should know (and grow)," 7 June 2018 The 528-square-mile zone is a sparsely populated strip marked by watchtowers, tank traps and barbed wire that extends several miles south from the DMZ. Yun-hwan Chae, WSJ, "Hot Property in Korea: Great View of the DMZ, May Have Land Mines," 7 June 2018 The fabric, while burlier than a typical vest’s, isn’t tough enough to withstand barbed wire and the like. Ariella Gintzler, Outside Online, "Testing Ultimate Direction’s New OCR Vest," 12 July 2018 Emmett was kidnapped and killed days later, his body tethered to a cotton gin fan with barbed wire and then cast into a river. The case — gruesome and shocking — became a catalyst for the broader civil rights movement. Alan Blinder, New York Times, "U.S. Reopens Emmett Till Investigation, Almost 63 Years After His Murder," 12 July 2018 Nativity statues of the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, which usually mark Christmas, were incarcerated Tuesday on the lawn of Christ Church Cathedral behind a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire. Faith E. Pinho, Indianapolis Star, "Christ Church Cathedral Indianapolis 'detains' Jesus, Mary, Joseph to protest Trump's immigration policy," 3 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of barbed wire

1874, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about barbed wire

Share barbed wire

Dictionary Entries near barbed wire

barbecue pit

barbecue sauce

barbed

barbed wire

barbeiro

barbel

barbell

Statistics for barbed wire

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for barbed wire

The first known use of barbed wire was in 1874

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for barbed wire

barbed wire

noun

English Language Learners Definition of barbed wire

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

barbed wire

noun

Kids Definition of barbed wire

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

More from Merriam-Webster on barbed wire

See words that rhyme with barbed wire

Britannica.com: 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).

WORD OF THE DAY

exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!