barbel

noun (1)
bar·​bel | \ ˈbär-bəl How to pronounce barbel (audio) \

Definition of barbel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a European freshwater cyprinid fish (Barbus barbus) with four barbels on its upper jaw also : any of various closely related fishes

barbel

noun (2)

Definition of barbel (Entry 2 of 2)

: a slender tactile process on the lips of certain fishes (such as catfishes)

First Known Use of barbel

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1601, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for barbel

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *barbellus, diminutive of Latin barbus barbel, from barba beard — more at beard

Noun (2)

obsolete French, from Middle French, diminutive of barbe barb, beard

Learn More About barbel

Time Traveler for barbel

Time Traveler

The first known use of barbel was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near barbel

barbeiro

barbel

barbell

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for barbel

Cite this Entry

“Barbel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/barbel. Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on barbel

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about barbel

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!