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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web So what else makes this thin barrier island, part of the Outer Banks, such a good investment? Dobrina Zhekova, Travel + Leisure, 14 Apr. 2023 The city of Isle of Palms is located on a barrier island about 15 miles east of Charleston, South Carolina. Claire Thornton, USA TODAY, 8 Apr. 2023 Loggerhead turtles nest on the barrier island, and a variety of programs are in place to protect their habitats. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 25 Mar. 2023 There are no food banks or pantries in this largely Iñupiat village on a barrier island along the Chukchi Sea. Annie Berman, Anchorage Daily News, 27 Feb. 2023 Step back in time on this barrier island where strict regulations govern the type of buildings and businesses allowed. Cristina Corvino, Country Living, 4 Feb. 2023 Instead, all eyes were focused on a bright patch of artificial light on a barrier island a couple of miles away. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 25 Jan. 2023 Although large cruise ships frequent the deeper water around Key West, a shallow channel called the Lakes Passage runs along the northern side of the barrier islands. Outside Online, 4 Jan. 2023 As Merbok headed north, residents of Kivalina, an Inupiat village of about four hundred and fifty people situated on a fragile barrier island eighty-three miles north of the Arctic Circle, received a National Weather Service report, warning of winds of up to sixty-five miles an hour. Emily Witt, The New Yorker, 21 Nov. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'barrier island.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1773, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of barrier island was in 1773

Dictionary Entries Near barrier island

Cite this Entry

“Barrier island.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2023.

Kids Definition

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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