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barb1

[bahrb] /bɑrb/
noun
1.
a point or pointed part projecting backward from a main point, as of a fishhook or arrowhead.
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.
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
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English barbe < Middle FrenchLatin barba beard or beardlike projection
Synonyms
1. spur, spike, prong, barbule; snag, prickle, spicule.

barb2

[bahrb] /bɑrb/
noun
1.
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

barb3

[bahrb] /bɑrb/
noun, Slang.
Origin
by shortening
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for barbs
  • 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.
  • Their thick skin provides armor against jellies' stinging barbs.
  • The scientists determined that each feather has a central stem with a number of barbs on each side.
  • barbs became plumes long before birds took wing-in fact, long before birds.
  • It seems you fall substantially short of supporting that untenable position as you instead opted to hurl insults and barbs.
  • Complexity does not make fodder for honest quips and barbs.
  • Expect the dino color studies to keep coming, and perhaps the verbal barbs as well.
British Dictionary definitions for barbs

barb1

/bɑːb/
noun
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 pl) 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
verb
11.
(transitive) to provide with a barb or barbs
Derived Forms
barbed, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French barbe beard, point, from Latin barba beard

barb2

/bɑːb/
noun
1.
a breed of horse of North African origin, similar to the Arab but less spirited
Word Origin
C17: from French barbe, from Italian barbero a Barbary (horse)

barb3

/bɑːb/
noun
1.
(Austral) a black kelpie See kelpie1
Word Origin
C19: named after one that was named Barb after a winning racehorse

BARB

/bɑːb/
noun acronym (in Britain)
1.
Broadcasters' Audience Research Board
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 barbs

barb

n.

late 14c., "barb of an arrow," from Old French barbe (11c.) "beard, beardlike appendage," from Latin barba "beard," perhaps cognate with Old English beard (see beard (n.)).

v.

late 15c., "to clip, mow;" see barb (n.). Meaning "to fit or furnish with barbs" is from 1610s. Related: Barbed; barbing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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barbs in Science
barb
  (bärb)   
  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.
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Slang definitions & phrases for barbs

barbs

noun

Barbiturates (late 1950s+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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9
11
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