barrier island


Definition of barrier island

: a long broad sandy island lying parallel to a shore that is built up by the action of waves, currents, and winds and that protects the shore from the effects of the ocean

Examples of barrier island in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Jerry Helms, 86, was on his honeymoon on a barrier island off the North Carolina coast when Hazel hit on the evening of Oct. 14, 1954. Emery P. Dalesio, The Seattle Times, "Florence could hit with punch not seen in more than 60 years," 10 Sep. 2018 Cross’ home faces Banks Channel, one of two waterways separating her barrier island community from North Carolina’s mainland. Jonathan Serrie, Fox News, "Hurricane Florence: Coastal town braces for monster storm," 12 Sep. 2018 The famous Chincoteague ponies native to the barrier island off the coast of Virginia have lost seven members of their herd to a deadly infection. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "A Deadly 'Swamp Cancer' Has Killed Seven of the Famous Chincoteague Wild Ponies," 11 Jan. 2019 Specifically, in this case, in the direction of St. George Island, a snake-thin barrier island just 4 miles offshore. Gully Wells, WSJ, "A Trip to the Florida of Yore," 12 Dec. 2018 The flooding began on barrier islands in North Carolina and then spread into coastal and river communities there and in South Carolina, swamping the white sands and golf courses in North Myrtle Beach. Barnini Chakraborty, Fox News, "Florence weakens to tropical depression, but flooding threat remains severe," 16 Sep. 2018 The storm’s first effects were already apparent on barrier islands as dangerous rip currents hit beaches and seawater flowed over a state highway. Jonathan Drew, The Seattle Times, "Millions prepare for potentially catastrophic Florence," 10 Sep. 2018 In Wrightsville Beach, located on a barrier island where people were ordered to evacuate, police blocked the bridge leading in Thursday morning. Jon Kamp, WSJ, "Hurricane Florence Threat Still ‘Catastrophic,’ Forecasters Warn," 13 Sep. 2018 On Tuesday, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper ordered mandatory evacuations of all barrier islands in the state, from the South Carolina border to the Virginia line. Scott Calvert, WSJ, "Facing Florence, Some North Carolinians Still Recovering From Previous Storms," 12 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'barrier island.' 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 island

1773, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

12 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for barrier island

The first known use of barrier island was in 1773

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More Definitions for barrier island

barrier island


English Language Learners Definition of barrier island

: a long, sandy island that is near a shore

barrier island


Kids Definition of barrier island

: a long broad sandy island parallel to a shore that is built up by the action of waves, currents, and winds

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grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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