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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

Verb the star athlete was barraged with requests for an autograph
Recent Examples on the Web
The bill must still go through both houses of the legislature, and is expected to face a barrage of lobbying and possible amendments. Gene Maddaus, Variety, 8 Feb. 2024 The first was to respond to the Houthis’ attacks not only by repelling the group’s raids and barrages but also by rapidly striking the Houthis’ military infrastructure. Noam Raydan, Foreign Affairs, 6 Feb. 2024 The barrage triggered a joint military response from the U.S. and U.K. on Jan. 11 and Jan. 22, while the U.S. has carried out additional smaller attacks. TIME, 4 Feb. 2024 But rather than finding sympathy, people in the Sunshine State faced a barrage of jokes from across the Internet; what feels unbearably cold to Floridians may be nothing to, say, people from Minnesota. Amanda Heidt, Scientific American, 1 Feb. 2024 Monday, Knudsen invited locals to the Camera and Brush Gallery for a night intended to evoke a barrage of emotions through an artistic expression of chaos. Missy Amaya, Sacramento Bee, 31 Jan. 2024 The bad: Like Arizona State, the Cougars will face a barrage of title contenders and likely bowl teams, including Utah, Arizona, Oklahoma State and the Kansas schools. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, 30 Jan. 2024 Austin urged the members of the contact group to continue providing military assistance to Ukraine, namely air defense systems to counter Russia's missile and drone barrages. Luis Martinez, ABC News, 23 Jan. 2024 Advertisement Biden’s first military act as president came in 2021 after a Kataib Hezbollah rocket barrage killed a civilian contractor and wounded a number of service members on a base in Iraq. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, 29 Jan. 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 One of the biggest DDoS defense firms in the world could no longer handle the scale of the data torrent barraging his site. Andy Greenberg, WIRED, 14 Nov. 2023 For about 20 seconds, McAbee, body weighed about 300 pounds, was on top of Wayte while rioters barraged the officer on all sides. Rachel Weiner, Washington Post, 12 Oct. 2023 The disaster declaration from President Joe Biden on Tuesday stemmed from storms that barraged Cook County from June 29 to July 2 and will free up federal funding for the thousands who incurred damage, according to an announcement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Alice Yin, Chicago Tribune, 17 Aug. 2023 Since Saturday’s attack, Israel has cut off food, water, and fuel to Gaza, which has more than 2 million residents, and barraged the area with rocket attacks, killing more than 1,000 people. Sarah Matusek, The Christian Science Monitor, 13 Oct. 2023 Thousands of pro-fracking comments barraged the inbox of the commission, which will decide in the coming months whether to free mineral rights under state lands for leasing and bidding from oil and gas drillers. Jake Zuckerman, cleveland, 10 Sep. 2023 Utility crews were still working Wednesday to restore power to thousands of people after heavy rains and winds barraged the region Monday evening, toppling utility poles, severing power lines and upending trees. Sherry Greenfield, Baltimore Sun, 9 Aug. 2023 Shou Chew, the chief executive of TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese internet giant ByteDance, was barraged with questions about the app’s relationship to its parent company and China’s potential influence over the platform. Sapna Maheshwari, New York Times, 23 Mar. 2023 See More

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 26 Feb. 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)

More from Merriam-Webster on barrage

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