barrier

noun
bar·​ri·​er | \ ˈber-ē-ər How to pronounce barrier (audio) , ˈba-rē-\

Definition of barrier

1a : something material that blocks or is intended to block passage highway barriers a barrier contraceptive
b : a natural formation or structure that prevents or hinders movement or action geographic barriers to species dissemination barrier beaches drugs that cross the placental barrier
2 barriers or Barriers plural : a medieval war game in which combatants fight on foot with a fence or railing between them
3 : something immaterial that impedes or separates : obstacle behavioral barriers trade barriers

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Synonyms for barrier

Synonyms

barricade, fence, hedge, wall

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Examples of barrier in a Sentence

Concrete barriers surround the race track to protect spectators. The tree's roots serve as a barrier against soil erosion. The mountain range forms a natural barrier between the two countries. Both leaders are in favor of removing trade barriers. Cultural barriers have made it hard for women to enter many professions. He argues that regulations should not be viewed as barriers to progress.
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Recent Examples on the Web

McGowan said the language barrier makes the aftermath of the arrest far more complicated. Author: Tim Craig, Scott Wilson, Nick Miroff, Anchorage Daily News, "Officials stand by immigration raids that temporarily left children without parents," 9 Aug. 2019 The dams create physical barriers to migrating fish and have created a series of shallow reservoirs that are easily warmed in hot weather. oregonlive.com, "Report touting benefits of Snake River dam removal stirs controversy," 8 Aug. 2019 In patriarchal Saudi Arabia, the women elected face significant barriers to performing even the limited duties of their office, which include overseeing garbage collection and issuing building permits. Alainna Liloia, The Conversation, "Saudi women are fighting for their freedom – and their hard-won victories are growing," 8 Aug. 2019 The second topic calls for reforming the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, which the platform writers said creates barriers that shut out parents and caregivers from the treatment of family members. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Mental health advocates push presidential candidates for reforms," 7 Aug. 2019 Yet, people who live in rural communities are more likely to fall beneath the federal poverty line, less likely to obtain a college education and often face unique barriers in acquiring medical care. Abby Vesoulis, Time, "Public Broadband and Paying Farmers to Fight Climate Change: Here's How Elizabeth Warren Would Invest in Rural America," 7 Aug. 2019 The concern is that the pace of job creation will slow before the healthy economy reached all the groups who traditionally face barriers to employment — including African Americans and people with disabilities. Lydia Depillis, CNN, "What to expect in the July jobs report," 1 Aug. 2019 Heavy state and local regulations create barriers to entry. Livia Gershon, Longreads, "Pot Luck," 30 July 2019 Currently, the satellite industry in China isn’t large enough to support several small rocket makers, and US and European satellite makers face regulatory barriers to hiring Chinese launch firms. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "China wants to launch the next SpaceX," 18 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'barrier.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of barrier

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for barrier

Middle English barrere, from Anglo-French, from barre bar

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Statistics for barrier

Last Updated

12 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for barrier

The first known use of barrier was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for barrier

barrier

noun

English Language Learners Definition of barrier

: something (such as a fence or natural obstacle) that prevents or blocks movement from one place to another
: a law, rule, problem, etc., that makes something difficult or impossible
: something that makes it difficult for people to understand each other

barrier

noun
bar·​ri·​er | \ ˈber-ē-ər How to pronounce barrier (audio) \

Kids Definition of barrier

1 : something (as a fence) that blocks the way
2 : something that keeps apart or makes progress difficult a language barrier

barrier

noun
bar·​ri·​er | \ ˈbar-ē-ər How to pronounce barrier (audio) \

Medical Definition of barrier

1a : a material object or set of objects that separates, demarcates, or serves as a barricade — see blood-brain barrier, placental barrier
b : a contraceptive device (such as a condom or cervical cap) that prevents sperm from entering the uterus often used before another noun barrier contraception
2 : a factor that tends to restrict the free movement, mingling, or interbreeding of individuals or populations behavioral and geographic barriers to hybridization

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More from Merriam-Webster on barrier

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with barrier

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for barrier

Spanish Central: Translation of barrier

Nglish: Translation of barrier for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of barrier for Arabic Speakers

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