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 Like others interviewed through the compound fence the day after Trump toured the border wall, Sandra said other migrants, many traveling by the thousands in caravans, are certain to come. Dudley Althaus, ExpressNews.com, "Biden’s border plans raise hopes and fears in South Texas," 23 Jan. 2021 With few customers, a hot dog vendor who’s worked the National Mall on every Inauguration Day since President Carter’s in 1977 handed hersnacks through the metal fence to National Guard troops on patrol near the Smithsonian. Eli Stokols, Los Angeles Times, "‘Grim and beautiful,’ Biden’s inauguration a day of jarring juxtapositions," 20 Jan. 2021 The van went off of Highway 6 and through a fence before turning on its side. Sara Tabin, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Puppies rescued from crash in Price," 1 Jan. 2021 The video shows a woman wearing a sweater, pajama bottoms and open-toed slippers push a sheet of newspaper through a wooden fence and sparking fire around a garbage bin. oregonlive, "Woman indicted on arson charges for fire that damaged Northeast Portland’s popular Reo’s Ribs," 30 Dec. 2020 Midway through the sweep, there came a report of people in 20 to 25 vehicles swarming a cannabis store a couple miles away at 701 66th Ave., near the Oakland Coliseum, where a Jeep Cherokee had rammed through the fence surrounding the store. Phil Matier, SFChronicle.com, "Biden, Harris come out big winners from election, but Newsom not so much," 8 Nov. 2020 The mother and cub have no interaction with the giant panda dad, Tian Tian, except through a mesh fence. Amy Eskind, PEOPLE.com, "National Zoo's Growing Panda Cub Is a 'Very Relaxed Kind of Dude' with a 'Bit of an Attitude'," 6 Nov. 2020 Before Rockwall police could respond, the pickup left the roadway and plowed through a fence in the 3100 block of Ridge Road, landing in the backyard of a residence in the Chandler’s Landing community. Marc Ramirez, Dallas News, "Girl dead after pickup fleeing police crashes into Rockwall backyard, bursts into flames," 23 Oct. 2020 According to the incident report from Sobo Café, the driver crashed through a wooden fence surrounding the parklet at 1:06 a.m. Penelope Blackwell, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore transportation officials considering more safety restrictions after car crashes into Federal Hill cafe patio," 21 Oct. 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

19 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fence. Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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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
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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