|1.||a large farm outbuilding, used chiefly for storing hay, grain, etc, but also for housing livestock|
|2.||(US), (Canadian) a large shed for sheltering railroad cars, trucks, etc|
|3.||any large building, esp an unattractive one|
|4.||(modifier) relating to a system of poultry farming in which birds are allowed to move freely within a barn: barn eggs|
|[Old English beren, from bere barley + ærn room; see |
"Barley was not always the only crop grown as the data recovered at Bishopstone might suggest but it is always the most commonly represented, followed by wheat and then rye and oats." [C.J. Arnold, "An Archaeology of the Early Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms," 1988, p.36]Another word for "barn" in O.E. was beretun, "barley enclosure" (from tun "enclosure, house"), which accounts for the many Barton place names on the English map, and the common surname. Barn door figurative for "broad target" and "great size" since 1540s.
a storehouse (Deut. 28:8; Job 39:12; Hag. 2:19) for grain, which was usually under ground, although also sometimes above ground (Luke 12:18).
see can't hit the broad side of a barn; lock the barn door after the horse is stolen.