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

Meanwhile, Muslim women activists, politicians, models, and more inspire young people, break barriers, and make moves to reclaim their truth every day. Harleen Sidhu, Teen Vogue, "8 Muslim Woman Characters Challenging Stereotypes in Entertainment," 27 Mar. 2019 After all, there are so many Muslim women activists, politicians, athletes, models, innovators, creatives, and more breaking barriers, fighting for change, and creating incredible pieces of art. Shammara Lawrence, Allure, "What MuslimGirl's Amani Al-Khatahtbeh Wants to See From the Beauty Industry in 2019," 27 Mar. 2019 Meghan, conscious of a potential language barrier, even prepared questions in a French to ask the 12- to 18-year-old students who live at the boarding house. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Duchess Meghan Won Morocco’s Heart Just Weeks Before Her Due Date," 26 Feb. 2019 The exoskeletons of those enduring life-forms will be coated with barriers that prevent toxins from entering their bodies. Rob Dunn, Discover Magazine, "Our Attempts to Eradicate Insects are Just Making them Resistant to Pesticides," 16 Nov. 2018 President Trump has declared a national emergency to fund a barrier at the border with Mexico. Kristina Peterson, WSJ, "Senate Will Block Trump’s Emergency Declaration on Border Wall, McConnell Says," 4 Mar. 2019 That's enough to flip the plastic over a barrier and into a separate stream. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Bikes, bowling balls, and the delicate balancing act that is modern recycling," 31 Dec. 2018 Faced with a cultural barrier and limited English, the now international pop star remembers being bullied by other students. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, "Lena Waithe and Luis Fonsi are Teaming Up to Make Travel More Inclusive," 15 Oct. 2018 In one image, children play at a Mexican playground beside a barrier in Tijuana near the Pacific Ocean while a U.S. border agent watches from his SUV on the American side just a couple of hundred feet away. Andrew Welsh-huggins, Fox News, "Exhibit showcases images of Mexico border walls, fences," 19 Sep. 2018

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

8 Apr 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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