fence

noun, often attributive
\ˈfen(t)s \

Definition of fence 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 archaic : a means of protection : defense

2a : a barrier intended to prevent escape or intrusion or to mark a boundary especially : such a barrier made of posts and wire or boards

b : an immaterial barrier or boundary line on the other side of the fence in the argument

4a : a receiver of stolen goods

b : a place where stolen goods are bought

on the fence

: in a position of neutrality or indecision

fence

verb
fenced; fencing

Definition of fence (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to enclose with a fence

b(1) : to keep in or out with a fence

(2) : to ward off

2 : to provide a defense for

3 : to sell (stolen property) to a fence

intransitive verb

1a : to practice fencing

b(1) : to use tactics of attack and defense resembling those of fencing

(2) : to parry arguments by shifting ground

2 archaic : to provide protection

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Other Words from fence

Noun

fenceless \ˈfen(t)s-ləs \ adjective
fencelessness noun

Verb

fencer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for fence

Synonyms: Noun

barricade, barrier, hedge, wall

Synonyms: Verb

bulwark, cover, defend, fend, forfend, guard, keep, protect, safeguard, screen, secure, shield, ward

Antonyms: Verb

assail, assault, attack

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Examples of fence in a Sentence

Noun

We put up a fence around our yard. the only way to prevent motorists from trying to use that unsafe bridge is to put a fence across the road leading to it

Verb

a house with a fenced-in yard He stole watches and fenced them on the street.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Marasco recommends making sure there is a gate or fence around your pool to keep children from accidentally falling in. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Emergency Responders Share 9 of the Biggest Death Traps in Your Home," 14 July 2018 Maybin tracked it to the wall, leaped, stretched out his glove and made the catch crashing into the fence to. Mike Persak, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Marlins shut out Phillies, 2-0, even weekend series with division leaders," 14 July 2018 My neighbor came around the fence and introduced himself. Sandra A. Miller, BostonGlobe.com, "The neighbor who helped us put down roots in a garden," 13 July 2018 The fence fire reportedly caused damage to two nearby vehicles, but no structures in the area were damaged by the fires. City News Service, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Firefighters respond to multiple fires in Ocean Beach," 13 July 2018 Homes are in the Midwestern architectural style, with porches and low fences between neighbors. Steve Dreyer, Pomerado News, "'Agritopia'-inspired development in works for StoneRidge?," 12 July 2018 For IfNotNow, their season of action began in earnest on May 14, the day Israeli soldiers gunned down 62 Palestinian protesters near the fence separating Gaza from Israel proper. Abraham Riesman, Daily Intelligencer, "Can the young activists of IfNotNow change the conversation about Israel and the Palestinians, or will their contradictions hold them back?," 12 July 2018 California's largest wildfire so far this year was caused by an electric livestock fence that was improperly installed, Cal Fire said Wednesday. Julia Sclafani, sacbee, "County Fire sparked by improperly installed electric fence, Cal Fire says," 11 July 2018 Next are 18-foot steel fences set back from the river, where agents patrol in trucks. Nicholas Kulish, The Seattle Times, "Human smuggling cat-and-mouse game plays out beyond the U.S.-Mexico border," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The bunkers themselves have triple fencing around them as well. Christopher Carbone, Fox News, "Photos appear to show Russia upgrading nuclear weapons bunker," 19 June 2018 Paris authorities are building a permanent security belt around the Eiffel Tower, replacing the fencing around it with more visually appealing glass walls. Sylvie Corbet, BostonGlobe.com, "Glass walls, not metal fencing, to surround Eiffel Tower," 14 June 2018 Today, there is fencing around the deep pit and a landscaped berm designed to block the unsightly construction remains from nearby townhomes. Bill Ruthhart, chicagotribune.com, "Exclusive: Two soaring towers planned for long-languishing Chicago Spire site along Lake Shore Drive," 11 May 2018 The owls nest in holes abandoned by badgers and other burrowing mammals, but fencing around the depot had discouraged such mammals from making their home on the depot. Jade Mcdowell, The Seattle Times, "Oregon Military Department upgrades Camp Umatilla," 5 Feb. 2018 But the culverts require a significant investment, not only on their construction and maintenance, but also on fencing around sections of highway where animals are known to frequently attempt crossings. Kimberly Veklerov, San Francisco Chronicle, "Orphaned mountain lion cubs at Oakland Zoo part of trend in California," 7 Jan. 2018 Participants brought tents to one of two fenced off areas and dinner was provided along with water and the equipment for the games and activities. Diane Dachota, chicagotribune.com, "Families camp overnight in Spring Rock Park," 14 July 2018 The fenced off 1200 building, which was the site of the Feb. 14 massacre, will not be repainted. Scott Travis, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Alum to give Stoneman Douglas a free new paint job," 26 June 2018 Tens of thousands of Palestinians had gathered on the edges of the fenced off blockaded territory from midmorning. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump supporters suffer unintended consequences of his policies," 15 May 2018

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for fence

Noun

Middle English fens, short for defens, defense defense entry 1

Verb

Middle English fensen, derivative of fens fence entry 1

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Learn More about fence

Dictionary Entries near fence

fen

Fen

fenagle

fence

fence arbor

fence law

fence lizard

Statistics for fence

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fence

The first known use of fence was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for fence

fence

noun

English Language Learners Definition of fence

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a structure like a wall built outdoors usually of wood or metal that separates two areas or prevents people or animals from entering or leaving

: a person who buys stolen property from thieves and sells it

fence

verb

English Language Learners Definition of fence (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put a fence around (a place or area)

: to keep (something or someone) in or out with a fence

: to fight with swords : to practice the art or sport of fencing

fence

noun
\ˈfens \

Kids Definition of fence

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a barrier (as of wood or wire) to prevent escape or entry or to mark a boundary

fence

verb
fenced; fencing

Kids Definition of fence (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to enclose with a fence fence a yard

2 : to fight with swords : to practice the sport of fencing

Other Words from fence

fencer noun

fence

noun

Legal Definition of fence 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a barrier intended to prevent escape or intrusion or to mark a boundary

2a : a receiver of stolen goods

b : a place where stolen goods are bought

fenced; fencing

Legal Definition of fence (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : to enclose with a fence

b : to keep in or out with a fence

2 : to sell (stolen property) to a fence

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Comments on fence

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to reject or criticize sharply

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