fence

noun, often attributive
\ ˈfen(t)s How to pronounce fence (audio) \

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 How to pronounce fence (audio) \ adjective
fencelessness noun

Verb

fencer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for fence

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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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 Clayton Kershaw, Justin Turner and Mookie Betts would carry that flag to the center-field fence amid Chavez-Ravine shaking cheers. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Hoping for fans in the stands and other L.A. sports wishes for 2021," 3 Jan. 2021 In 1991, Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely tied two state inmates to a fence outside a state prison and refused to return them to his jail. Ashley Remkus | Aremkus@al.com, al, "Alabama inmates sleep on floors as jails overcrowded: ‘It’s inhumane.’," 19 Dec. 2020 The source said detectives found damage to a fence and a pair of gloves in a garbage can a block away. Katelyn Umholtz, NOLA.com, "Would-be thieves kill 72-year-old man in Village de L'Est, source says," 16 Dec. 2020 About three dozen artists have work on display through Wednesday, with those works being painted or printed onto 3-by-5 banners attached to the fence around the perimeter of Parking Lot 1 at the college. Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Through art, San Diego artist conveys feelings about 2020," 5 Dec. 2020 Gracie walks up to the fence, near where operations manager John Madigan is standing. National Geographic, "Episode 6: The Trouble with America's Captive Tigers," 1 Dec. 2020 Each planet has a sheet with interesting factoids about it affixed to a fence or light pole. Heather Knight, SFChronicle.com, "Pandemic ennui? S.F. still holds surprises to discover in its parks, streets and beaches," 1 Dec. 2020 Steen posted a new sign to the fence announcing plans to start the memorial over again. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Military Thanksgiving, Kauai quarantine, holiday cheer curtailed: News from around our 50 states," 30 Nov. 2020 The family coaxed Sarge to stand and led him to a fence. Britta Lokting, Washington Post, "In the West, wild horses are an out-of-control problem — and ranchers and animal rights activists are locked in conflict over their fate," 18 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The initial confrontation between police and protesters unfolded the previous morning after police arrived to help the property’s legal owner fence off the house, which sits within a historically Black neighborhood that has gentrified. oregonlive, "Occupation outside N. Portland house continues into Wednesday; morning gathering scheduled," 9 Dec. 2020 Leucadians have joined the chorus of coastal residents opposed to plans by North County Transit District to fence off portions of the railroad tracks in Oceanside, Encinitas and Del Mar. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Leucadians oppose plan to fence off railroad tracks," 22 Nov. 2020 The new wall and legal ramifications to fence cutters are meant to improve agent safety, CBP said. Anna Giaritelli, Washington Examiner, "Mexico pays US in new deal to jail or fine people caught cutting border fence," 18 Nov. 2020 Dairy farmers say their efforts to fence off waterways and improve nutrient management is starting to make a difference. Tracy Withers, Bloomberg.com, "Not-So-Green New Zealand Has a Dirty River Problem," 11 Oct. 2020 Concerns about visitor safety eventually led the city to fence off the structure. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, "North Royalton expands cemetery vault project, increasing cost by 56 percent," 27 June 2020 So most vineyards fence out deer to protect their high-dollar crop. Andrew Mckean, Outdoor Life, "3 Blacktail Hunts for the Earliest Fall Bucks," 14 Aug. 2020 Concerns about visitor safety eventually led the city to fence off the structure. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, "North Royalton expands cemetery vault project, increasing cost by 56 percent," 27 June 2020 Concerns about visitor safety eventually led the city to fence off the structure. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, "North Royalton expands cemetery vault project, increasing cost by 56 percent," 27 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for fence

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for fence

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fence. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for fence

fence

noun
How to pronounce fence (audio)

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
informal : 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 How to pronounce fence (audio) \

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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