barn·​storm | \ˈbärn-ˌstȯrm \
barnstormed; barnstorming; barnstorms

Definition of barnstorm 

intransitive verb

1 : to tour through rural districts staging usually theatrical performances

2 : to travel from place to place making brief stops (as in a political campaign or a promotional tour)

3 : to pilot one's airplane in sightseeing flights with passengers or in exhibition stunts in an unscheduled course especially in rural districts

transitive verb

: to travel across while barnstorming

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from barnstorm

barnstormer noun

Examples of barnstorm in a Sentence

He spent the months leading up to the election barnstorming around the country. The national soccer team barnstormed through the country.

Recent Examples on the Web

Putnam, a former congressman, has run a more traditional campaign for governor, barnstorming the state with campaign events aimed at building upon his family's deep ties to the state. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Trump calls for voter ID, teases Iran talks at Florida rally boosting DeSantis, Scott," 2 Oct. 2018 The president has barnstormed the nation this fall, holding multiple rallies a week, mindful that his future will be shaped by Election Day. Ken Thomas, The Seattle Times, "WHAT TO WATCH: After turbulent campaign, it’s up to voters," 7 Nov. 2018 Like McCarthy, Scalise has been barnstorming the country raising money for lawmakers, chits that could be quite valuable if there is an opening to lead the conference. Fox News Staff, Fox News, "The GOP battle for the speakership intensifies," 7 Sep. 2018 And what better way for a company founded by an ex-Uber executive to do that than by barnstorming the rest of the globe. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "How Bird plans to spread its electric scooters all over the world," 1 Aug. 2018 Graham, Mykhailiuk and Young will take the barnstorming tour to Wichita East High School on Saturday May 5. Gary Bedore, kansascity, "Robinson-Earl attracts interest from batch of coaches at Dallas-area AAU tourney | The Kansas City Star," 21 Apr. 2018 When the country’s first-division league was shut down, taking the players’ paychecks with it, Bradley took the national team on a barnstorming tour of the Middle East. Kevin Baxter,, "World Cup Group A: Bob Bradley laid foundation for Egypt's first trip to World Cup in 28 years," 4 June 2018 The growth of the game, its explosion, was aided by the Globetrotters and other barnstorming squads that showcased African-American pioneers like Tatum and Haynes, Wilt Chamberlain and Connie Hawkins. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: This Pacers' usher is a "player," too," 23 June 2018 Over two short weeks, former FBI director James Comey has sold more than 600,000 copies of his new book, A Higher Loyalty, barnstormed the interview circuit and appeared frequently in public without a tie. Michael Duffy, Time, "James Comey’s Book A Higher Loyalty Is a Major Break from the Norm," 3 May 2018

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

1883, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about barnstorm

Statistics for barnstorm

Last Updated

30 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for barnstorm

The first known use of barnstorm was in 1883

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for barnstorm



English Language Learners Definition of barnstorm

: to travel to different places to give speeches, perform shows, etc.

More from Merriam-Webster on barnstorm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with barnstorm

Britannica English: Translation of barnstorm for Arabic Speakers

Comments on barnstorm

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!