: a code consisting of a group of printed and variously patterned bars and spaces and sometimes numerals that is designed to be scanned and read into computer memory and that contains information (such as identification) about the object it labels
… one version of the barcode reader used in supermarkets employs a laser scanner.—Science
I on the other hand boarded the traditional way. I handed my paper printout to the airport personnel, who scanned the barcode before letting me proceed.—Sanjeeb Patel
biology: something (such as a DNA sequence) that uniquely identifies a species of organism
… they now plan to analyze each fish sample by decoding a certain tiny piece of DNA that can serve as a unique bar code for the species.—Christen Brownlee
Recent Examples on the WebStore associates, freed from the drudgery of scanning barcodes, would be close at hand to answer your questions.—Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, 18 Oct. 2023 The fun kit includes cookie mix, festive frosting, holiday sprinkles, a keepsake booklet, and barcode for a holiday video message from Parton herself along with a recipe for her favorite cinnamon roll cookies.—Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, 15 Sep. 2023 Shadows drew barcodes across its central cricket field, and kerosene lamps lit the interiors of stores and homes like Dutch Golden Age paintings.—Sean Williams, Harper's Magazine, 11 Sep. 2023 She’s made mistakes, like ordering 5,000 coffee bags with fraudulent barcodes, useless to sell in stores.—Arcelia Martin, Dallas News, 6 Sep. 2023 The resulting dips and peaks in the star’s brightness are like a chemical barcode for the transiting planet.—Elise Cutts, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Sep. 2023 Others may have a tiny barcode or icon declaring their shelf life.—Bykells McPhillips, Fortune Well, 12 Aug. 2023 Perhaps the most intuitive way to look for a biosignature in that barcode is to scour it for a gas that was clearly produced by life.—Elise Cutts, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Sep. 2023 Setup is easy—the app offers the ability to scan the unit's barcode to add it to your account and connect it to Wi-Fi.—Dave Vanderwerp, Car and Driver, 25 July 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'barcode.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
: a code made up of a group of printed and variously spaced bars and sometimes numerals that is designed to be scanned and read into computer memory and that contains information (as identification) about the object it labels
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?
Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!