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noun (1)

bar·​rage ˈbär-ij How to pronounce barrage (audio)
: a dam placed in a watercourse to increase the depth of water or to divert it into a channel for navigation or irrigation


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noun (2)

bar·​rage bə-ˈräzh How to pronounce barrage (audio) -ˈräj How to pronounce barrage (audio)
military : artillery fire laid on a line (see line entry 1 sense 6c) close to friendly troops to screen and protect them
The enemy laid down a barrage of machine-gun fire as our platoon approached the bridge.
: a vigorous or rapid outpouring or projection of many things at once
a barrage of phone calls
unleashed a barrage of insults
an oratorical barrage


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bar·​rage bə-ˈräzh How to pronounce barrage (audio) -ˈräj How to pronounce barrage (audio)
barraged; barraging

transitive verb

: to deliver a barrage (see barrage entry 2) against
were barraged with bullets
being barraged by campaign ads before the election

Examples of barrage in a Sentence

Noun (2) the teacher's rapid-fire barrage of homework assignments went by too fast for me to write them all down Verb the star athlete was barraged with requests for an autograph
Recent Examples on the Web
The state has seen a barrage of new investments in battery plants and electric vehicle manufacturing in recent years. Madeleine Ngo, New York Times, 15 May 2024 Coloradans looking to buy homes or simply hold onto their property face a barrage of challenges: a white-hot real estate market, high interest rates and soaring property taxes. Judith Kohler, The Denver Post, 11 May 2024 The cell phone video captured the desperate Spirit Airlines flight attendant using her arms to shield the barrage of punches as the fighting match broke out in the aisle. Sarah Rumpf-Whitten, Fox News, 9 May 2024 But Tripple, who became county clerk last year, was one of the officials struggling to cope with the barrage of records requests and the threats that the majority of election offices were receiving at the time. David Gilbert, WIRED, 7 May 2024 Separately, Ukrainian forces also launched a barrage of drones and missiles on Friday night, Russia’s Ministry of Defense said, with air defense systems downing 21 rockets and 16 drones over Russia’s Belgorod, Kursk, and Volgograd regions. Vasilisa Stepanenko and Evgeniy Maloletka, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 May 2024 On an otherwise quiet backfield at the Dodgers’ Camelback Ranch complex this spring, a barrage of expletives rang out from the mound one late February day. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 6 May 2024 Hamas also killed three Israeli soldiers with a rocket barrage on Sunday on the border crossing of Kerem Shalom, one of its worst missile attacks in weeks. Galit Altstein, TIME, 6 May 2024 That same year, Wood, Boyd, Monaghan, and Astin also voiced their support for spinoff series Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power amid a barrage of racist attacks made against its cast., 4 May 2024
But unlike at Volkswagen, Mercedes workers say they have been barraged at work with anti-union videos highlighting the failures of unions elsewhere and forced to join closed-door meetings with lawyers. Stephan Bisaha, NPR, 13 May 2024 Join us tonight as IndyStar reporters, pundits discuss the primary's biggest races Republican gubernatorial primary This is the marquee race of Indiana’s primary season, with six Republican candidates spending millions and barraging the airwaves to get Hoosiers’ attention. Kayla Dwyer, The Indianapolis Star, 7 May 2024 But the entertainment company, which has 1.8 billion shares outstanding, has nonetheless barraged him for months with political-style campaign materials (letters, email, social media ads) that urge him to elect certain people to its board. Lauren Hirsch, New York Times, 30 Mar. 2024 Cybersecurity pros are barraged by dozens, if not hundreds, of cybersecurity products added as acronyms. R. Scott Raynovich, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2024 Israel left the Gaza Strip almost two decades ago and, followed by a violent coup by Hamas, watched as the terrorist group diverted humanitarian aid to tunnels and offshore bank accounts, deprived its citizens, and barraged Israel with rockets. TIME, 20 Feb. 2024 In other videos, Russian forces can be seen being barraged by U.S.-supplied cluster munitions. Patrick Reevell, ABC News, 23 Oct. 2023 Instantly, Heffernan said, trolls descended, barraging her with anti-Semitic and misogynistic messages. Sarah Blaskey, Miami Herald, 13 Feb. 2024 Like in 2013, when the nonprofit punk fanzine Razorcake applied for a tiny Los Angeles-area FM station on the same signal as an EMF translator down in Orange County, and EMF barraged it with complaints about potential interference. Katie Thornton, Rolling Stone, 21 Jan. 2024

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

Word History


Noun (1)

French, from barrer to bar, from barre bar

Noun (2)

French (tir de) barrage barrier fire


verbal derivative of barrage entry 2

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1837, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1915, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1918, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of barrage was in 1837

Dictionary Entries Near barrage

Cite this Entry

“Barrage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a barrier formed by continuous artillery or machine-gun fire directed upon a narrow strip of ground
: a rapid or furiously active flow (as of speech or writing)

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