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

Weight cycling is linked to long-term risk of chronic disease, depression, and potentially permanent damage to your metabolic function — placing an additional barrier to any weight loss or weight maintenance efforts over time. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About the Military Diet, According to a Nutritionist," 11 Dec. 2018 Both fitness companies revolve around stationary bikes, but Peloton’s are purchased for in-home use — a notable $2,000 barrier to entry — and its customers pay a monthly fee to access live and prerecorded classes on the bike’s built-in monitor. Rani Molla, Recode, "Peloton now has more U.S. customers than SoulCycle, new data suggests," 3 Dec. 2018 The low barrier to creating mailing lists means there’s a wide range and diversity of them. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "How Googlers organized against the company’s China plans," 30 Nov. 2018 An open standard approach like Yubikey's carries the promise of a potentially universal solution, but with the need to buy a physical object, the barrier to entry is also higher. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Is This Finally the Beginning of the End for the Password?," 24 Sep. 2018 So, these barriers to effective and fair trade are systematically being dismantled because of a smart trade policy, and that is what Democrats used to be in favor of. Fox News, "Kevin McCarthy leads charge against social media censorship," 30 Aug. 2018 Today, those born without privilege face daunting barriers to wealth and advancement. Heather Souvaine Horn, The New Republic, "Donald Trump, Meghan Markle, and America’s enduring obsession with the British royals," 12 July 2018 Moscovici noted that the forecast is based on maintaining the status quo and that further barriers to trade could still lower growth this year. Lucas Laursen, Fortune, "The EU Just Slashed the Eurozone Growth Forecast Because of U.S. Trade War Tensions," 12 July 2018 Now, with PianoFight almost four years into its Taylor Street venue, more than 200 local writers, performers and directors participate, drawn partly by the low barrier to entry. Lily Janiak, SFChronicle.com, "The long tail of ShortLived VII, audience-judged theater competition at PianoFight in SF," 7 July 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

11 Mar 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

Comments on barrier

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