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noun (1)

bark·​er ˈbär-kər How to pronounce barker (audio)
: one that barks
especially : a person who advertises by hawking at an entrance to a show


2 of 2

noun (2)

: one that removes or prepares bark

Examples of barker in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Expect the sounds of midway barkers as games beep and buzz. Tommy Cummings, Dallas News, 30 Aug. 2023 For the past eighteen years, Breen has spent nine months of every year out on the road, traveling the country with the company—first as a sword-swallower, then as a front-talker (never call them carnival barkers), later as a partner, and now as the sole proprietor. David Hill, Harper's Magazine, 12 Apr. 2022 Two chairs sit outside most of the stores all day, where a staffer can sit, part security guard, part carnival barker. Mark Ellwood, Robb Report, 15 June 2023 The party that once dined out on the elegant optimism of Ronald Reagan and the combative intelligence of William Buckley has been hijacked by a narcissistic carnival barker and his mob of conspiracy theorists, science deniers and Christo-fascists. Ron Charles, Washington Post, 13 Sep. 2022 In season 1, Aaron portrayed Danny Bailey, a carnival barker with unrequited feelings for Melissa in the 1950s storyline. Adrianna Freedman, Good Housekeeping, 11 June 2023 Presiding over it all was Mr. Springer, who variously served as a referee, ringmaster, carnival barker and relationship counselor. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, 27 Apr. 2023 Turn your head and a murderous carnival barker will be waiting just out of your eye line to chop you up and serve you to the crowds. Julie Tremaine, Forbes, 9 Oct. 2021 Sochi has become a horrendous barker at those same things. Cathy M. Rosenthal, San Antonio Express-News, 4 Feb. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'barker.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1611, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of barker was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near barker

Cite this Entry

“Barker.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a person who stands at the entrance to a show and tries to attract customers by loud fast talk
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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