barrier

[bar-ee-er]
noun
1.
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.
2.
any natural bar or obstacle: a mountain barrier.
3.
anything that restrains or obstructs progress, access, etc.: a trade barrier.
4.
a limit or boundary of any kind: the barriers of caste.
5.
Physical Geography. an antarctic ice shelf or ice front.
7.
barriers, History/Historical. the palisade or railing surrounding the ground where tourneys and jousts were carried on.
8.
Archaic. a fortress or stockade.

Origin:
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.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
barrier (ˈbærɪə)
 
n
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
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

barrier
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
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

barrier bar·ri·er (bār'ē-ər)
n.

  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.
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Example sentences
Meanwhile, as sea level rise approaches two feet, the barriers might simply
  spend more time closed.
One of the barriers to publishing a story about diamond growers is that almost
  everyone involved is touchy about secrecy.
Inefficient central power generation is protected by a glacier of artificial
  barriers.
So the researchers have been studying what reproductive barriers or ecological
  conditions are in play that prevent hybridization.
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