barbed wire


: twisted wires armed with barbs or sharp points

called also barbwire

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Carmela’s clever, curse-laden rejoinders were always a delight, enhanced by the guttural punch of Falco’s tough-broad deliveries, each word wrapped in barbed wire. Hazlitt, 4 Jan. 2023 Though they're separated by barbed wire, the footage appears to show Indian troops beating the Chinese soldiers with makeshift weapons, including what look like wooden sticks and metal pipes. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 14 Dec. 2022 Negan's iconic weapon of choice — a barbed wire baseball bat — was named after Lucille, who died of cancer before the zombie apocalypse. Jacqueline Weiss, Peoplemag, 28 Oct. 2022 At the entrance to Moshchenka, anti-tank obstacles fashioned from local birch trees and barbed wire guard the checkpoint. New York Times, 14 June 2022 At the Northridge Trail intersection, the access gate was closed, but the lowest strand of barbed wire strung beside it was usually loose, and many trail users just slipped underneath. Sarah Trent, Outside Online, 27 May 2022 The Minetas eventually were taken to Heart Mountain, Wyo., a makeshift settlement surrounded by a tall fence and barbed wire. Washington Post, 3 May 2022 The area has been sequestered behind chain link fence and barbed wire for decades, but the Lake Calumet Vision Committee had been granted access a few times in the early 2010s for the hikes. Paul Eisenberg,, 27 Mar. 2022 Overnight Tuesday, National Guards members and state troopers put up barbed wire, blocking a common crossing used by thousands of migrants over the past several weeks. Nouran Salahieh, CNN, 21 Dec. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1874, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of barbed wire was in 1874

Dictionary Entries Near barbed wire

Cite this Entry

“Barbed wire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition

barbed wire

: wire (as for a fence) with sharp points spaced evenly along it

called also barbwire

More from Merriam-Webster on barbed wire

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