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 The barrier island off Florida’s southwest coast is famous for its 15 miles of shell beaches and wildlife refuges. Cassie Armstrong,, "Relax, you’re on (Sanibel) island time," 12 Nov. 2020 Emergency responders struggled to reach Grand Isle, a remote barrier island with some 1,400 residents on the Louisiana coast, that officials said was one of the areas hardest hit by the storm. New York Times, "Zeta Knocks Out Power to 2 Million," 29 Oct. 2020 On a tiny barrier island in South Carolina, the three dozen protesters lined up on a muggy Saturday morning this month for the third time in six weeks. New York Times, "A Common Retort After Insensitive Remarks by Elected Leaders: Resign," 23 Oct. 2020 With summer now over, Ocean City survived the most perilous part of its 2020, the months when tourists transform the barrier island into one of the state’s most populous cities. Christine Condon,, "How did Ocean City fare during a summer of coronavirus? A look back at an unusual season for Maryland’s beach town.," 15 Oct. 2020 Perched between downtown Newburyport and Plum Island is this tiny airport, where the intrepid can take flying lessons—and the slightly less adventurous can opt for an aerial tour of the marshland that connects the barrier island with the mainland. Hannah Selinger, WSJ, "Welcome to Newburyport, Where Million-Dollar Homes Are Flying Off the Shelves," 14 Oct. 2020 Johnson Beach is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore on the extreme eastern end of Perdido Key, an undeveloped stretch of barrier island south of Naval Air Station Pensacola. Dennis Pillion |, al, "Coast Guard investigates oil found on Perdido Key beaches after Hurricane Sally," 30 Sep. 2020 To the west and south, the historic Jungle Trail, originally used by citrus growers, is a great way to savor the barrier island’s gorgeous landscape on bike, foot, or horseback. Jessica Dailey, Town & Country, "This Florida Community Is the Sunny Oasis You've Been Dreaming Of," 29 Sep. 2020 This coastal barrier island offers habitat for migratory birds from snow geese to raptors. Larry Bleiberg, USA TODAY, "First flight: 10 great places where beginning birders can get their wings," 20 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for barrier island

Time Traveler

The first known use of barrier island was in 1773

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Statistics for barrier island

Last Updated

24 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Barrier island.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

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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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