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 The contractor eventually replaced the fence with a wildlife-friendly vehicle barrier. Erin Stone, azcentral, "Concerns grow that Trump's wall will damage rivers, wildlife habitat on Arizona border," 3 Feb. 2020 Similar methods have been tried with other species in places including Sri Lanka, where electric fences were erected to keep elephants at bay. Chris Baraniuk, Scientific American, "Orangutans Are Hanging On in the Same Palm Oil Plantations That Displace Them," 3 Feb. 2020 My two cents: Move the fence in front of the batter's eye in center in 10 feet and shorten the wall above the out-of-town scoreboard in the gap in right-center. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers mailbag: A middle-of-the-order hitter by any other name would hit the same," 31 Jan. 2020 According to Craig Hoeppner, the city's director of parks, recreation and forestry, the skate park could take the place of a pavilion behind the outfield fence of the baseball field at Roosevelt Park. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'The demand is there': Oconomowoc could get a skate park, if the city approves," 27 Jan. 2020 This announcement forces her to consider just how toxic the foundation of her relationship — Ryan forcing Annie to escape his home via a rusty back fence due to embarrassment — is. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "Is Your Favourite Shrill Couple Over After That Season 2 Finale?," 27 Jan. 2020 Trump might want another set of accomplishments — an agreement on the Dreamers and another chunk of miles for the border fence — heading into the 2020 general election. Jim Geraghty, National Review, "Dreaming of a Dreamer Deal," 27 Jan. 2020 Graffiti covered the tarps lining the fences around the property. Heather Knight, SFChronicle.com, "SF says no thanks to free housing for homeless on vacant Tenderloin lot," 24 Jan. 2020 The city has set aside more than $180,000 to build fences or walls, plant shrubs or trees, or construct other landscaping barriers to cordon their backyards from future trail users. John Tuohy, Indianapolis Star, "Homeowners near the Nickel Plate Trail are worried about privacy. This money could help.," 24 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In November, cleanup crews removed signs, fencing and pumpkins from the wild stretches of the lower Rogue River after an unusually active season of bear activity. oregonlive, "Bill Monroe: Reflecting on four decades of smiles at the Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show," 19 Jan. 2020 The foundation, based in Manhattan, teaches inner-city kids fencing, and Thomas Smart insisted his children take the sport up. NBC News, "'Stay Close': PBS film spotlights race, adversity and a black man's rare success in the sport of fencing," 6 Jan. 2020 Applicants can receive up to $10,000 to hire security personnel or up to $50,000 to buy and install equipment such as cameras, card access readers, lighting, fencing and barriers. Hannan Adely, USA TODAY, "Jersey City shooting follows a rise in hate crimes, frightening pattern of attacks on Jewish sites," 12 Dec. 2019 The 75-acre plant site at 100 Lycaste St. is fenced and secure so no street closures or nearby evacuations are required. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "DTE to implode Conners Creek plant in Detroit, clearing land for FCA Jeep project," 11 Dec. 2019 Sod is scheduled to go in Nov. 14; from there, it'll be protected and fenced off and finally, what now seems like an oversized sand pit right now will look like a place to play soccer. Tim Reynolds, sun-sentinel.com, "Beckham’s Fort Lauderdale stadium complex for Inter Miami taking shape," 22 Oct. 2019 But signs of construction — fenced-off building sites, closed roads, and high-rise cranes across city skylines — still abound throughout the region. Louis Hansen, The Mercury News, "Bay Area real estate still a good buy," 19 Sep. 2019 Both Yakitori Sushi House and its neighbor, Noodle World, are still boarded up and fenced off, along with the liquor store that sat between them. Author: Madeline Mcgee, Anchorage Daily News, "Months after string of Anchorage business fires, questions still remain," 15 Aug. 2019 But unlike Geist, the new 250-foot-deep reservoir will be fenced off and unavailable for recreational activities like boating, Citizens spokesman Dan Considine said. John Tuohy, Indianapolis Star, "Work to begin soon on developing the first public park on Geist Reservoir," 15 July 2019

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

7 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fence?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=f&file=fence001. Accessed 19 Feb. 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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More from Merriam-Webster on fence

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fence

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fence

Spanish Central: Translation of fence

Nglish: Translation of fence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fence for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fence

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