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

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 Those inside the program believe Pool is on the fence about his decision. Tom Murphy, Arkansas Online, 3 Jan. 2022 Cardiologists, too, are on the fence about who should get screened, and when. Washington Post, 4 Nov. 2021 Amazon's current home and tech deals include markdowns on its own best-selling devices, kitchen essentials, as well as gym equipment, like this foldable treadmill ideal for anyone on the fence about reinstating their gym membership in 2022. Talia Abbas, Glamour, 25 Dec. 2021 For those still on the fence about holiday travel or post-holiday trips, here's what travelers need to know about cancellation policies. Bailey Schulz, USA TODAY, 23 Dec. 2021 Spanos also questioned whether the Jonas Brothers were the best choice to deliver a pro-vaccine message to those on the fence about getting vaccinated. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 22 Dec. 2021 Juliana Olarte is still on the fence about a New Year’s trip to an all-inclusive resort in Cancún, watching to see how case counts in the area hold up. Alison Sider, WSJ, 21 Dec. 2021 The across-the-board drops clouds the outlook for institutional portfolios who remain on the fence about adopting Bitcoin to use as a hedge in this period of high inflation. Sophie Mellor, Fortune, 6 Dec. 2021 The council president said a vacancy on council offers a unique opportunity for residents who were on the fence about campaigning to get on-the-job experience before running for election in two years. John Benson, cleveland, 29 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Unable to sell their loot in the public art market and unable to fence it through their usual contacts, these thieves often put out feelers to the institutions from which it was stolen. Washington Post, 7 Jan. 2022 People who commit property crimes run the gamut from addicts stealing for drug money to organized syndicates who fence goods on the internet. Rachel Scheier, Los Angeles Times, 3 Jan. 2022 Farmers who don’t fence in their land invest in ammunition instead. Washington Post, 22 Dec. 2021 MSC Land also was required to fence in the 183-acre site, investigate potential PCB release areas, and to work on storm water management and eliminate uncontrolled flows into the Trenton channel of the Detroit River. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, 26 Nov. 2021 Forever changed were the places where their daughters ran free: Lily within the fenced yard that Amber measured as 15 cartwheels from house to fence. Julie Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, 20 Sep. 2021 This fascinated Sydelle, who used to fence but now spends her time reading about battles in books instead. Washington Post, 16 Sep. 2021 In order to reduce the number of militants and refugees crossing over, the Pakistani military is continuing to fence its long and porous 1,622-mile land border with Afghanistan, 90% of which has been completed. Sabrina Toppa, Time, 18 Aug. 2021 Simply attach jars to fence posts using heavy-duty wire wrapped around the mouth a few times and then around the post. Giovana Gelhoren, Country Living, 30 July 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near fence

fenagle

fence

fence arbor

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Statistics for fence

Last Updated

14 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fence. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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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
: 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

fence

transitive verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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