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 They’ll be bedded up in brush or creekbottoms, or even a brushy fence-line corner or a tree row. Andrew Mckean, Outdoor Life, "Q&A With an Expert Farm-Country Coyote Hunter," 29 Jan. 2020 And the things he was made to do, lest he be shot or thrown, still living, but just barely, into the piles of corpses stacked like cordwood in streets, fields, along the fence lines of the ghettos and death camps in which he was confined. Robert Wilonsky, Dallas News, "Dallas has lost a vital human story of the Holocaust with the death of South Dallas shopkeeper Jack Repp," 14 Jan. 2020 Also, no one saw David fleeing the plant, nor were any disturbances noted or holes cut along the fence line to indicate someone had escaped. cincinnati.com, "Accused podcast, Season 3, Chapter 6: Last day laid bare," 14 Jan. 2020 Shortly before 7am on Dec. 26, witnesses saw a man identified in court filings as Lyuyou Liao walking along the secure fence line of the Naval Air Station Key West, according to a complaint filed in federal court. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "Chinese national arrested trying to photograph restricted US military site," 27 Dec. 2019 Then get out there the next day and brush up a good hide at a pond dam or in a fence line to intercept him. Dave Hurteau, Field & Stream, "Expert Late Season Deer Hunting Tactics," 23 Dec. 2019 Monsivis drove and broke through a fence line along the western part of the airport around 3 a.m. Thursday, according to CNN affiliate WWSB. Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN, "Video shows the moment a truck bulldozed into a Florida airport terminal," 19 Dec. 2019 The sunrise, obscured by a low hill to the east, began to reveal the flat country before us and the fence line running north and south from our hide. Steve Meyer, Anchorage Daily News, "A chilly morning, a North Dakota wheat field, a flock of geese and the gift of a lifetime," 30 Nov. 2019 Finally, some people place rocks, bricks, and railroad ties around the fence line to deter digging. Cathy M. Rosenthal, chicagotribune.com, "Pet World: How to deter dog from digging holes in back yard," 26 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Instead of washing down the hill or sitting in an earthen pit, excrement from his heifers and calves is meticulously collected, held in a concrete-lined, fenced-off tank. Washington Post, "These farmers say they try to stem pollution, it’s expensive," 8 Feb. 2020 Afterward, the area was fenced off and has remained vacant for nearly two years. Taylor Mims, Billboard, "After Mass Shooting, Will the Route 91 Harvest Festival Ever Return to Las Vegas?," 28 Jan. 2020 Scientists say the frankincense crisis could still be averted—by fencing off key forests to protect them from livestock, establishing fire-breaks, and enforcing more conservative guidelines for sap extraction. Alex Fox, Science | AAAS, "World’s supply of frankincense could go up in smoke," 1 July 2019 The hotel is currently fenced off and Kilbane said there have been no further incidents since operation has ceased. Laura Bednar, cleveland.com, "Independence looks to fill previously crime-ridden hotel," 9 June 2019 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

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

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

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