9 Grammatical Pitfalls

barbed wire

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 of barbed wire
1860-65 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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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

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

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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