: a usually large building for the storage of farm products or feed and usually for the housing of farm animals or farm equipment
: an unusually large and usually bare building
a great barn of a hotelW. A. White
: a large building for the housing of a fleet of vehicles (such as trolley cars or trucks)
barnlike adjective
barny adjective

Example Sentences

They live in a big barn of a house.
Recent Examples on the Web The kind-natured, elderly horse graciously accepted my gentle strokes and gobbled up those treats as the eight other horses in the barn watched. The Courier-Journal, 14 Mar. 2023 Up to two guests can sleep here, while indoor showers and bathrooms are located in the property's barn. Stephanie Vermillion, Travel + Leisure, 7 Mar. 2023 Last Thursday, the Home Town designer showed off the progress on their home gym that Ben has been building in their barn. Natalia Senanayake, Peoplemag, 6 Mar. 2023 Deputies found Gutierrez in the barn with Mireles’ body, Steffen said. Caleb Lunetta, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Feb. 2023 Cosby ran outside a few times to check the pipes inside his family barn. John Hilliard, BostonGlobe.com, 4 Feb. 2023 The two lived in Davenport’s barn with a third elephant, Boo, which had been in his family for four decades. Matthew Ormsethstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 20 Jan. 2023 Inside his barn, Mr. Zveryshyn stands atop a mountain of sunflower seeds, illuminated by light through an empty roof. Noah Robertson, The Christian Science Monitor, 17 Jan. 2023 A couple who own a nearby farm counted more than 60 raccoons inside their cattle feeder one night a few years ago and more atop the rafters of their barn—like pigeons lined up on a telephone wire, Mr. Crow says. Joe Barrett, WSJ, 7 Jan. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'barn.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English bern, from Old English bereærn, from bere barley + ærn house, store

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of barn was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near barn

Cite this Entry

“Barn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/barn. Accessed 22 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a building used chiefly for storing grain and hay and for housing farm animals or farm equipment

Medical Definition


: a unit of area equal to 10−24 square centimeters that is used in nuclear physics for measuring cross section

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