bar

1 of 9

noun (1)

often attributive
1
a
: a straight piece (as of wood or metal) that is longer than it is wide and has any of various uses (as for a lever, support, barrier, or fastening)
windows with bars across them
a door secured by an iron bar
b
: a solid piece or block of material that is longer than it is wide
a bar of gold
a candy bar
c
: a usually rigid piece (as of wood or metal) longer than it is wide that is used as a handle or support
especially : a handrail used by ballet dancers to maintain balance while exercising
2
: something that obstructs or prevents passage, progress, or action: such as
a
law : the destruction of an action (see action sense 5) or claim
a statute of limitations bar to the present action
also : a plea or objection that effects such destruction
b
: an intangible or nonphysical impediment
His poor attitude was a bar to his success.
c
: a submerged or partly submerged bank (as of sand) along a shore or in a river often obstructing navigation
3
law
a(1)
: the railing in a courtroom that encloses the place about the judge where prisoners are stationed or where the business of the court is transacted in civil cases
(2)
: court, tribunal
The younger judge brought a fresh viewpoint to the bar.
(3)
: a particular system of courts
practices at the New York bar
(4)
: an authority or tribunal that hands down judgment
will be judged at the bar of public opinion
b(1)
: the barrier in the English Inns of Court that formerly separated the seats of the benchers or readers (see reader sense 2) from the body of the hall occupied by the students
(2)
: the whole body of barristers or lawyers qualified to practice in the courts of any jurisdiction
dreams of being admitted to the bar
(3)
: the profession of barrister or lawyer
… heighten respect for members of the bar and judiciary …W. L. Hoyt
(4)
US : the test that a person must pass in order to become eligible to work as a lawyer
passed the bar and went into private practice
the bar exam/examination
4
: a straight stripe, band, or line much longer than it is wide: such as
a
heraldry : one of two or more horizontal stripes on a heraldic shield
b
: a metal or embroidered strip worn on a usually military uniform especially to indicate rank (as of a company officer) or service (see service entry 1 sense 6b)
a second lieutenant's bar
5
a
: a counter at which food or especially alcoholic beverages are served
We sat at the bar while we waited for a table.
b
: a room or establishment where alcoholic drinks and sometimes food are served : barroom
They went to a bar for drinks.
c
: shop sense 2b
a coffee bar
6
music
a
: a vertical line across the musical staff before the initial measure accent (see accent entry 1 sense 5)
b
: measure
Sing the first two bars.
7
textiles : a lace and embroidery joining covered with buttonhole stitch for connecting various parts of the pattern in needlepoint lace and cutwork
8
: standard
wants to raise the bar for approving new drugs
9
: a strip along the edge of a computer window that contains commonly used options or icons
The horizontal navigation bar across the top and bottom enables users to move quickly from primary section to primary section within the site …Editor & Publisher

bar

2 of 9

verb

barred; barring

transitive verb

1
a
: to fasten with a long, narrow piece of wood, metal, or other material : to fasten with a bar (see bar entry 1 sense 1a)
b
: to place bars across to prevent ingress or egress
bar the door
2
: to mark with straight stripes, bands, or lines that are much longer than they are wide : to mark with bars (see bar entry 1 sense 4) : stripe
a feather barred with blue
3
a
: to confine or shut in by or as if by bars (see bar entry 1 sense 1a)
barring prisoners in their cells
b
: to set aside : to not take into consideration : rule out
did not bar the possibility of further measures
c
: to keep out : exclude
often used with from
Women were barred from joining the club.
4
a
: to put forth legal objection to (something, such as a claim or action)
final judgment barred the subsequent claim
: to prevent (a party) from bringing a claim or action
Plaintiffs are barred from litigating such claims.
b
: prevent, forbid
a decision barring his participation

bar

3 of 9

preposition

: except
the country's most popular actor, bar none

bar

4 of 9

noun (2)

: a unit of pressure equal to 100,000 pascals

bar

5 of 9

abbreviation (1)

1
barometer; barometric
2
barrel

Bar

6 of 9

abbreviation (2)

Baruch

BAr

7 of 9

abbreviation (3)

bachelor of architecture

BAR

8 of 9

abbreviation (4)

Browning automatic rifle

bar-

9 of 9

combining form

variants or baro-
: weight : pressure
barometer
Phrases
behind bars
: in jail
putting criminals behind bars

Examples of bar in a Sentence

Verb He barred the door as soon as he got in. All the windows and doors were barred. A herd of goats was barring the road. Nothing barred them from meeting together. The judge will bar the jurors from talking to reporters. A federal court has barred the group from using the name. The decision bars the possibility of additional development in the area. forms of punishment barred by the Constitution Preposition They have lost every match, bar one. everyone in the company is invited, bar none See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
These ideals initially barred Dorsey’s new brand of worship music. Aramide Tinubu, Variety, 12 Feb. 2024 He was barred from contesting the vote because of his criminal convictions and contends that his sentences and the slew of legal cases against him are politically motivated. Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, arkansasonline.com, 12 Feb. 2024 His colleagues were barred from contesting Pakistan’s election under their party’s name. Ismail Dilawar, Fortune, 11 Feb. 2024 Now the government and lawmakers find themselves with a dilemma of their own making: The old scapegoats are in jail, exiled, or otherwise barred from meaningful political participation, so officials need new culprits to pin their underperformance on. Timothy McLaughlin, The Atlantic, 9 Feb. 2024 Jackson raised a related question: Is the presidency one of the offices the amendment bars an insurrectionist from holding? David Lauter, Los Angeles Times, 9 Feb. 2024 Kavanaugh also suggested that barring Trump from the ballot could be seen as undemocratic by taking away the voice of his supporters. Kyler Alvord, Peoplemag, 8 Feb. 2024 The case heard Thursday, Trump v. Anderson, involved having the Supreme Court determine if Colorado was wrong in ruling to exclude Trump from the ballot under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which was enacted after the Civil War to bar former Confederates from holding public office. Gillian Brassil, Sacramento Bee, 8 Feb. 2024 Some justices also seemed open to two other arguments: that the post-Civil War prohibition at issue, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, bars candidates from holding office, as opposed to running for it, and that the president is not among the officials to whom the provision applies. Adam Liptak, New York Times, 8 Feb. 2024
Noun
The two blocks to the east of the former printing plant has 20 parcels, with 12 owners, including local restaurants and bars. Mike Hendricks, Kansas City Star, 14 Feb. 2024 The re-boot of the 1989 bar brawl drama starring Patrick Swayze will get a new leading man in Jake Gyllenhaal in the film due out on March 21. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 14 Feb. 2024 In Amélie, Tautou's titular character is a waitress in a Montmartre, Paris bar who takes delight in observing people and letting her imagination roam free. Nigel Smith, Peoplemag, 14 Feb. 2024 Just 32 lesbian bars now exist in the United States, according to the Lesbian Bar Project, a campaign that aims to support and preserve lesbian bars. Marisa Iati, Washington Post, 14 Feb. 2024 Thirty-four secluded villas feature private pools, and La Cantera offers SEVEN, a premium adults-only guest floor with personal concierge, private check-in and bar. Rona Berg, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 The former friend, a 29-year-old woman with the last name Kim, managed a members-only bar in Seoul. Max Kim, Los Angeles Times, 13 Feb. 2024 Of course, there are more modern comforts too, like a basement bar, a billiards room, and a cinema. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 1 Feb. 2024 But Everybody Can’t Go isn’t all bars, listeners can hear the intentional thematic and sonic advances from his previous work. Andre Gee, Rolling Stone, 1 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bar.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English barre, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *barra

Verb

Middle English barren, borrowed from Anglo-French barrer, derivative of barre bar entry 1

Preposition

derivative of bar entry 2

Noun (2)

German, from Greek baros

Combining form

Greek baros; akin to Greek barys heavy — more at grieve

First Known Use

Noun (1)

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Preposition

1723, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1910, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bar was in the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near bar

Cite this Entry

“Bar.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bar. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

bar

1 of 4 noun
1
a
: a straight piece (as of metal or wood) that is longer than it is wide
b
: a usually rectangular piece or block of material
a bar of soap
2
: something that hinders or blocks : obstacle
3
: a bank (as of sand) partly or entirely under water along a shore or in a river
4
a
: the railing in a courtroom around the place where the business of the court is carried on
b
: a court of law
c
: the profession of law
5
6
a
: a counter on which alcoholic drinks or food is served
b
7
a
: a vertical line across the musical staff before the beginning of a measure
8
: standard entry 1 sense 2a
raise the bar for improving new medicines

bar

2 of 4 verb
barred; barring
1
: to fasten with a bar
bar the door
2
: to mark with bars : stripe
gray feathers barred with brown
3
: to block off : close
bar the road with a chain
4
a
: to keep out : exclude
bar reporters from a meeting
b
: prevent sense 1, forbid
the judge barred them from talking to reporters

bar

3 of 4 preposition
: with the exception of
bar none

bar

4 of 4 noun
: a unit of pressure equal to 100,000 pascals
Etymology

Noun

Middle English barre "bar," from early French barre (same meaning)

Noun

from German Bar "unit of pressure," from Greek baros "weight, pressure"

Medical Definition

bar

1 of 4 noun
often attributive
1
a
: a piece of metal that connects parts of a removable partial denture
b
: the part of the wall of a horse's hoof that is bent inward toward the frog at the heel on each side and that extends toward the center of the sole
2
: a straight stripe, band, or line much longer than it is wide: as
a
: a transverse ridge on the roof of a horse's mouth
usually used in plural
b
: the space in front of the molar teeth of a horse in which the bit is placed

bar

2 of 4 transitive verb
barred; barring
: to cut free and ligate (a vein in a horse's leg) above and below the site of a projected operative procedure

bar

3 of 4 noun
: a unit of pressure equal to 100,000 pascals or to one million dynes per square centimeter or to 0.9869 atmosphere

bar

4 of 4 abbreviation
barometer; barometric

Legal Definition

bar

1 of 2 noun
often attributive
1
a
: the railing in a courtroom that encloses the area around the judge where prisoners are stationed in criminal cases or where the business of the court is transacted in civil cases compare bench sense 1, dock, jury box, stand
b
: court, tribunal
the younger judge brought a fresh viewpoint to the bar
2
a
: the whole body of lawyers
especially : those qualified to practice in the courts of a particular jurisdiction
admitted to the Arizona bar
the bankruptcy bar
compare bench sense 3b
b
: the profession or occupation of lawyer
c
: bar examination
passed the bar
3
: something that prevents admission, progress, or action: as
a
: an intangible impediment, obstacle, or barrier
consent of the victim is a bar to conviction
b
: the permanent preclusion of a claim or action especially due to the loss of a previous suit based on the same cause of action and between the same parties
its earlier successful suit against the purchaser for the price was a bar to the present suitMartino v. McDonald's System, Inc., 598 F.2d 1079 (1979)
compare collateral estoppel at estoppel sense 2a, merger sense 4, res judicata sense 2

bar

2 of 2 transitive verb
barred; barring
1
: to keep out : exclude
cannot bar the items from sale
2
: to prevent from doing or accomplishing (something)
plaintiff's conduct may bar her recovery
the contract bars his reinstatement
3
: preclude: as
a
: to act as a bar to (as a claim or action)
final judgment barred the subsequent claim
b
: to prevent (a party) from bringing a claim or action
plaintiffs are barred by the judgment…from relitigating their claimsRoach v. Teamsters Local Union No. 688, 595 F.2d 446 (1979)
see also estop compare merge sense 2
barrable adjective

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