barb

1 [bahrb]
noun
1.
a point or pointed part projecting backward from a main point, as of a fishhook or arrowhead. See illus. under fishhook.
2.
an obviously or openly unpleasant or carping remark.
3.
Botany, Zoology. a hooked or sharp bristle.
4.
Ornithology. one of the processes attached to the rachis of a feather. See illus. under feather.
5.
one of a breed of domestic pigeons, similar to the carriers or homers, having a short, broad bill.
6.
any of numerous, small, Old World cyprinid fishes of the genera Barbus and Puntius, often kept in aquariums.
7.
Usually, barbs. Veterinary Pathology. a small protuberance under the tongue in horses and cattle, especially when inflamed and swollen.
8.
Also, barbe. a linen covering for the throat and breast, formerly worn by women mourners and now only by some nuns.
9.
Obsolete. a beard.
verb (used with object)
10.
to furnish with a barb or barbs.

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English barbe < Middle FrenchLatin barba beard or beardlike projection


1. spur, spike, prong, barbule; snag, prickle, spicule.
Dictionary.com Unabridged

barb

2 [bahrb]
noun
one of a breed of horses raised originally in Barbary.

Origin:
1630–40; < French barbe, shortened form of Italian barbero Barbary steed, equivalent to Barber(ia) Barbary + -o masculine noun suffix

barb

3 [bahrb]
noun Slang.

Origin:
by shortening

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To barbs
Collins
World English Dictionary
barb1 (bɑːb)
 
n
1.  a subsidiary point facing in the opposite direction to the main point of a fish-hook, harpoon, arrow, etc, intended to make extraction difficult
2.  any of various pointed parts, as on barbed wire
3.  a cutting remark; gibe
4.  any of the numerous hairlike filaments that form the vane of a feather
5.  a beardlike growth in certain animals
6.  a hooked hair or projection on certain fruits
7.  any small cyprinid fish of the genus Barbus (or Puntius) and related genera, such as B. conchonius (rosy barb)
8.  (usually plural) any of the small fleshy protuberances beneath the tongue in horses and cattle
9.  a white linen cloth forming part of a headdress extending from the chin to the upper chest, originally worn by women in the Middle Ages, now worn by nuns of some orders
10.  obsolete a beard
 
vb
11.  (tr) to provide with a barb or barbs
 
[C14: from Old French barbe beard, point, from Latin barba beard]
 
barbed1
 
adj

barb2 (bɑːb)
 
n
a breed of horse of North African origin, similar to the Arab but less spirited
 
[C17: from French barbe, from Italian barbero a Barbary (horse)]

barb3 (bɑːb)
 
n
(Austral) See kelpie a black kelpie
 
[C19: named after one that was named Barb after a winning racehorse]

BARB (bɑːb)
 
n acronym for
Broadcasters' Audience Research Board

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
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

barb
late 14c., from O.Fr. barbe (11c.) "beard, beardlike appendage," from L. barba "beard," cognate with O.E. beard.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
barb   (bärb)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A sharp point projecting backward, as on the stinger of a bee.

  2. One of the hairlike branches on the shaft of a feather.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
They don't scream at meetings, apparently, or deliberately throw barbs at one
  another.
Perhaps it does have a horn and doesn't have tail barbs.
Preserved pigment cells in these six feather barbs lend tantalizing clues to
  color.
The blue-spotted stingray has sharp barbs on its tail.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature