barn·​storm ˈbärn-ˌstȯrm How to pronounce barnstorm (audio)
barnstormed; barnstorming; barnstorms

intransitive verb

: to tour through rural districts staging usually theatrical performances
: to travel from place to place making brief stops (as in a political campaign or a promotional tour)
: 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
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 The Colts barnstormed across the South and Midwest in 1901, playing teams in Kansas City, Missouri; Hot Springs, Arkansas; and Chicago. Richard Selcer, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 23 Mar. 2024 Rather than barnstorming the states holding primaries, Biden and Trump held rival events last week along the U.S.-Mexico border, each seeking to gain an advantage in the increasingly fraught immigration debate. Will Weissert, Fortune, 6 Mar. 2024 In the final weekend before election day, the leading Democrats running for the Senate seat barnstormed the state, with Schiff holding seven public events, Rep. Barbara Lee of Oakland attending four and Rep. Katie Porter of Irvine participating in two. Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times, 3 Mar. 2024 Fresh off his defiant State of the Union address, President Joe Biden and his senior aides will barnstorm the country starting Friday to aggressively sell his vision for a second term to voters — and warn of the Republican alternative. Will Weissert, The Denver Post, 8 Mar. 2024 Haley has been barnstorming New Hampshire and made two early morning stops on Friday, in addition to the afternoon diner visit. USA TODAY, 19 Jan. 2024 Trump’s campaign has enlisted thousands of volunteers to barnstorm the state ahead of the Feb. 24 primary. Eric Cortellessa, TIME, 6 Feb. 2024 Republican Nikki Haley will barnstorm the country with at least 17 fundraisers across five states over the next several weeks as the eyes of the nation turn to the upcoming rematch between her and former President Donald Trump in Haley's home state of South Carolina. Soo Rin Kim, ABC News, 25 Jan. 2024 The inexhaustible Rachel Chavkin directs, which feels right for a musical about a steely, glamorous woman barnstorming through the art world. Sara Holdren, Vulture, 4 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'barnstorm.' 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

1883, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of barnstorm was in 1883

Dictionary Entries Near barnstorm

Cite this Entry

“Barnstorm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


barn·​storm ˈbärn-ˌstȯrm How to pronounce barnstorm (audio)
: to travel through the country making brief stops to entertain (as with shows or flying stunts) or to campaign for political office
barnstormer noun

More from Merriam-Webster on barnstorm

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