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barbed wire

noun
1.
a wire or strand of wires having small pieces of sharply pointed wire twisted around it at short intervals, used chiefly for fencing in livestock, keeping out trespassers, etc.
Also called barbwire.
Origin
1860-1865
1860-65
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for barbed wire
  • The hall itself was surrounded by a steel fence topped with barbed wire.
  • We ate nothing but barbed wire and asphalt sandwiches.
  • In the dark, power lines and barbed wire fences create invisible hazards during descent.
  • In the meantime, they've wrapped barbed wire around park headquarters, shutting down patrols.
  • Chain-link fences heavily festooned with barbed wire extended from us.
  • On another day medics practice carrying stretchers under barbed wire as snipers fire on them.
  • Members of the posse attacked the marchers with crude weapons made of rubber tubing wrapped in barbed wire.
  • The flood destroyed a wire factory, filling the water with tons of barbed wire.
  • Another photo at the memorial shows a bride and a groom waving at their parents from the other side of the barbed wire.
  • The camera frames shots through bars or barbed wire.
British Dictionary definitions for barbed wire

barbed wire

noun
1.
strong wire with sharply pointed barbs at close intervals Also called (US) barbwire
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for barbed wire
n.

also barb wire, "fencing wire with sharp edges or points," 1863, American English, from barb + wire (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for barbed wire

fence wire usually consisting of two longitudinal wires twisted together to form cable and having wire barbs wound around either or both of the cable wires at regular intervals. The varieties of barbed wire are numerous, with cables being single or double, round, half-round, or flat and having a range of gauges. The twisted double cable provides extra strength and permits contraction and expansion without breakage. Barbs are diagonally cut in order to provide sharper points; they may consist of one or two pieces (two or four points) and are generally spaced at intervals of 4 to 5 inches (10 to 13 cm).

Learn more about barbed wire with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Word Value for barbed

11
13
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