barney

noun
bar·​ney | \ ˈbär-nē How to pronounce barney (audio) \
plural barneys

Definition of barney

1 British, informal
a : an angry argument : altercation, row You might have a barney with your husband over his inability to find your jokes funny but actually resorting to punching, kicking or lifting a weapon is beyond me.— Elaine C. Smith, Sunday Mail, 31 July 2005 She accused him of knocking her front teeth out in a barney, while admitting that more often than not she initiated the punch-ups. — David Bennun, The Guardian (London), 17 Sept. 1999
b : a boisterous good time
2 : a small car attached to a cable used to push cars up a slope in a mine

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of barney

1864, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for barney

perhaps from the name Barney

Learn More About barney

Dictionary Entries Near barney

Barnevelder

barney

barnful

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for barney

Cite this Entry

“Barney.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/barney. Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

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

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'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!