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 fenceless (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 Real estate agent Gary Kent said news of a vaccine, and its potential widespread distribution could mean sellers who are on the fence could put homes on the market and increase inventory. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego home price gains stall," 18 Nov. 2020 By Inauguration Day, the wait-and-see majority may no longer be sitting on the fence. David Bluestone, STAT, "A national Covid-19 vaccine confidence project: job No. 1 for President-elect Biden," 8 Nov. 2020 Across the street, a Trump flag hung limp on a fence. Los Angeles Times, "Voter voices: Here’s why these Americans are casting their ballots," 3 Nov. 2020 One party guest snuck around the side of a nearby house to urinate on the fence. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, "Oakland is trying to defund the police. Can it? Should it?," 1 Nov. 2020 But in a video posted to her Twitter and Instagram accounts earlier today, Gaga chose to dress up in a number of her most memorable outfits for a worthy cause: to encourage anyone still on the fence ahead of next Tuesday’s election to vote. Liam Hess, Vogue, "Lady Gaga Revisits Her Most Iconic Looks to Rock the Vote," 30 Oct. 2020 Broken slats on the fence, overgrown garden, sagging porch. Seija Rankin, EW.com, "First look: Inside Samantha Downing's next novel, For Your Own Good," 28 Oct. 2020 Just two owners were on the fence with one firm ‘no’ vote as of Tuesday, per sources. Deesha Thosar, courant.com, "MLB owners expected to vote in favor of Steve Cohen Friday, Mets offseason now in Bill de Blasio’s hands," 27 Oct. 2020 One evening in early October, two people found Mendolsohn’s banner torn down from her fence and tossed on the ground. NBC News, "Hate crime against Black couple jolts beach town known for tolerance," 1 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 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

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fence. Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

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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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