anything built or serving to bar passage, as a railing, fence, or the like: People may pass through the barrier only when their train is announced.
any natural bar or obstacle: a mountain barrier.
anything that restrains or obstructs progress, access, etc.: a trade barrier.
a limit or boundary of any kind: the barriers of caste.
Physical Geography. an antarctic ice shelf or ice front.
barriers, History/Historical. the palisade or railing surrounding the ground where tourneys and jousts were carried on.
Archaic. a fortress or stockade.

1275–1325; Middle English < Middle French barriere (barre bar1 + -iere < Latin -āria -ary); replacing Middle English barrere < Anglo-French < Medieval Latin barrera

1. palisade, wall. 1–3. obstruction, hindrance, impediment. See bar1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To Barrier
World English Dictionary
barrier (ˈbærɪə)
1.  anything serving to obstruct passage or to maintain separation, such as a fence or gate
2.  anything that prevents or obstructs passage, access, or progress: a barrier of distrust
3.  anything that separates or hinders union: a language barrier
4.  a.  an exposed offshore sand bar separated from the shore by a lagoon
 b.  (as modifier): a barrier beach
5.  (sometimes capital) that part of the Antarctic icecap extending over the sea
[C14: from Old French barriere, from barrebar1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

early 14c., from O.Fr. barriere "obstacle, gatekeeper," from barre "bar" (see bar (1)). First record of barrier reef is from 1805.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

barrier bar·ri·er (bār'ē-ər)

  1. A structure, such as a fence, built to bar passage.

  2. A boundary or limit.

  3. An obstacle or impediment.

  4. Something that separates or holds apart.

  5. Something immaterial that obstructs or impedes behavior.

  6. A physical or biological factor that limits the migration, interbreeding, or free movement of individuals or populations.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The boundary of the sphere, the wall of fire, is not an actual physical barrier.
Remedial math has become an insurmountable barrier for many students, ending
  their aspirations for higher education.
Regulations covering the financial services industry are designed to act as a
  barrier to rogues and villains.
The soy sauce here appears to be poured directly on the skin, and the skin
  should be acting as a barrier.
Image for Barrier
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature