|1.||a large farm outbuilding, used chiefly for storing hay, grain, etc, but also for housing livestock|
|2.||(US), (Canadian) a large shed for sheltering railroad cars, trucks, etc|
|3.||any large building, esp an unattractive one|
|4.||(modifier) relating to a system of poultry farming in which birds are allowed to move freely within a barn: barn eggs|
|[Old English beren, from bere barley + ærn room; see |
"Barley was not always the only crop grown as the data recovered at Bishopstone might suggest but it is always the most commonly represented, followed by wheat and then rye and oats." [C.J. Arnold, "An Archaeology of the Early Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms," 1988, p.36]Another word for "barn" in O.E. was beretun, "barley enclosure" (from tun "enclosure, house"), which accounts for the many Barton place names on the English map, and the common surname. Barn door figurative for "broad target" and "great size" since 1540s.
barnn. [uncommon; prob. from the nuclear military] An unexpectedly large quantity of something: a unit of measurement. "Why is /var/adm taking up so much space?" "The logs have grown to several barns." The source of this is clear: when physicists were first studying nuclear interactions, the probability was thought to be proportional to the cross-sectional area of the nucleus (this probability is still called the cross-section). Upon experimenting, they discovered the interactions were far more probable than expected; the nuclei were `as big as a barn'. The units for cross-sections were christened Barns, (10^-24 cm^2) and the book containing cross-sections has a picture of a barn on the cover.
a storehouse (Deut. 28:8; Job 39:12; Hag. 2:19) for grain, which was usually under ground, although also sometimes above ground (Luke 12:18).
see can't hit the broad side of a barn; lock the barn door after the horse is stolen.