bar·​ber | \ ˈbär-bər How to pronounce barber (audio) \

Definition of barber

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: one whose business is cutting and dressing hair, shaving and trimming beards, and performing related services


barbered; barbering\ ˈbär-​b(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce barbering (audio) \

Definition of barber (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to perform the services of a barber for : trim or groom the hair or beard of

intransitive verb

: to perform the services of a barber


biographical name
Bar·​ber | \ ˈbär-bər How to pronounce Barber (audio) \

Definition of Barber (Entry 3 of 3)

Samuel 1910–1981 American composer

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of barber in a Sentence

Noun He goes to a barber downtown. went to the barber to get his hair cut and his beard trimmed
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For men's hair There have been countless memes circulating about how much men miss their barbers during quarantine. Shauna Beni, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best At-Home Beauty Kits and Treatments, According to Experts," 13 May 2020 Wochit Hoosiers in much of the state can once again pay a visit to their favorite barber, hair stylist or salon. Dwight Adams, Indianapolis Star, "You can get your hair cut in most Indiana counties starting today. Here's what to know.," 11 May 2020 This is happening during the coronavirus pandemic, with celebrities stuck inside their homes not able to get their barber or hairdresser. Susan Haas, USA TODAY, "Ryan Reynolds' tiny ponytail and other dramatic celebrity quarantine hair transformations," 28 Apr. 2020 Marines at Camp Pendleton allegedly in close proximity to each other and their barbers, a potential violation of Defense Department guidance. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, "Haircuts amid coronavirus tangle defense leadership," 15 Apr. 2020 That Friday afternoon, Wolf impulsively ran from his barber and over to the firm’s midtown office. Fox News, "Man who lost wife in 9/11 recalls fight to help survivors and victims in her honor," 11 Sep. 2019 Willy’s Barber Shop, into which Wilfredo Soto had poured his life savings, was closed, his towel and sheet still neatly folded over his barber chair. Michael Powell, New York Times, "This Working Man Was Ready to Retire. But the Virus Took Him.," 5 May 2020 His shop has six barber chairs and a beautician station. NBC News, "Black barber shops and salons: Safe havens for cultural chats," 29 Apr. 2020 Those relationships built in the barber chair are key to the program's design, as is the accessibility of the clinic just feet away. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Free clinic focused on men's health opens at Milwaukee barbershop Gee's Clippers," 25 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The new campus will have a 28-chair clinic classroom, 12-chair barbering clinic classroom and five large classroom spaces for more training. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Paul Mitchell The School Milwaukee is moving from Waukesha to Wauwatosa," 11 Feb. 2020 Roger Federer, while not infallible, can play when there is barbered grass underfoot. The Si Staff,, "Wimbledon 2018 Preview Roundtable: Predictions, Dark Horses, More," 29 June 2018 Ethos, Jacobs’ barbering biz featuring a traveling grooming station, was born. Elizabeth Wellington,, "A mobile barbershop experience that elevates the culture of the gentleman | Elizabeth Wellington," 21 June 2018 Missouri law requires a training course of 1,000 hours for barbering and 1,500 hours for hairdressing, followed by a licensing exam. Tony Rizzo, kansascity, "African-style hair braiders lose appeal of Missouri licensing law," 11 Jan. 2018 The center offers auto and collision training in several garage bays, a welding shop, a dental lab, a cosmetology and barbering center, graphic arts and a culinary arts program. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "New Gary Career Center director touts plans to fill empty classrooms," 23 Dec. 2017 But barbering was hard on daddy’s feet, and mother was homesick. WSJ, "Wanda Jackson Helped Put the Growl in Rockabilly," 19 Dec. 2017 There are still all kinds of souvenirs and reminders of the two Italian barbers and their customers: postcards stuck into the mirrors, decades of shavers and other barbering gadgetry. Polly Campbell,, "A cut and a cappuccino on Garfield Place: Ferrari Barbershop and Coffee Co.," 12 Oct. 2017 Rosa had secured a job at the Stockton Sewing Company doing piecework and Raymond was barbering again. Jeanne Theoharis, The Root, "The Story of Rosa Parks’ Detroit Home Reveals Hard Truths About Her Life in the ‘Northern Promised Land That Wasn’t’," 7 Sep. 2017

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


14th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1616, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for barber


Middle English, from Anglo-French barbour, from barbe beard — more at barb

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about barber

Time Traveler for barber

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for barber

Last Updated

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Barber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for barber


How to pronounce Barber (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of barber

: a person whose job is to cut men's hair


bar·​ber | \ ˈbär-bər How to pronounce barber (audio) \

Kids Definition of barber

: a person whose business is cutting hair and shaving and trimming beards

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on barber

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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