barrier island

noun

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

First Known Use of barrier island

1773


BARRIER ISLAND Defined for English Language Learners

barrier island

noun

Definition of barrier island for English Language Learners

  • : a long, sandy island that is near a shore


BARRIER ISLAND Defined for Kids

barrier island

noun

Definition of barrier island for Students

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

Learn More about barrier island


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up barrier island? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

alert quickness of mind or body

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!