Dictionary: BAR – BARB'EL

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BAR, n. [W. bar; It. barra; Fr. barre; Sp. barra; Port. id.; It. barra; sbarra; Arm. barren, sparl; Heb. בריח; Ch. עברא. If these words are the Eng. bar, the sense is, a shoot, that which shoots, passes or is driven.]

  1. A piece of wood, iron or other solid matter, long in proportion to its diameter, used for various purposes, but especially for a hinderance or obstruction; as, the bars of a fence or gate; the bar of a door or hatchway. – Numb. iii. 36. Ex. xxvi. 26.
  2. Any obstacle which obstructs, hinders or defends; an obstruction; a fortification. – Amos i. Must I new bars to my own joy create. – Dryden.
  3. The shore of the sea, which restrains its waters. – Job xxxviii.
  4. The railing that incloses the place which counsel occupy in courts of justice. Hence the phrase, at the bar of the court, signifies in open court. Hence also licensed lawyers are called barristers; and hence the whole body of lawyers licensed in a court, are customarily called the bar. A trial at bar, in England, is a trial in the courts of Westminster, opposed to a trial at Nisi Prius, in the circuits.
  5. Figuratively, any tribunal; as, the bar of public opinion. Thus the final trial of men is called the bar of God.
  6. The inclosed place of a tavern, inn or coffee-house, where the landlord or his servant delivers out liquors, and waits upon customers. – Addison.
  7. A bank of sand, gravel or earth, forming a shoal at the mouth of a river or harbor, obstructing entrance, or rendering it difficult.
  8. A rock in the sea, according to Brown; or any thing by which structure is held together, according to Johnson; used in Jonah ii.
  9. Any thing laid across another, as bars in heraldry, stripes in color, and the like.
  10. In the menage, the highest part of the place in a horse's mouth between the grinders and tusks, so that the part of the mouth which lies under and at the side of the bars, retains the name of the gum. Encyc. The upper part of the gums, which bears no teeth, and to which the bit is applied. – Johnson.
  11. In music, bars are lines drawn perpendicularly across, the lines of the staff, including between each two, a certain quantity of time, or number of beats.
  12. In law a peremptory exception sufficient to destroy the plaintif's action. It is divided into a bar to common intendment, and bar special; bar temporary, and bar perpetual. Bar, to common intendment is an ordinary or general bar, which disables the declaration of the plaintif. A special bar is more than ordinary, as a fine, release, or justification. A temporary bar is that which is good for a time, but may afterward cease. A perpetual bar overthrows the action of the plaintif forever. – Blackstone. Cowel.
  13. A bar of gold or silver, is an ingot, lump or wedge, from the mines, run in a mold, and unwrought. A bar of iron is a long piece, wrought in the forge and hammered from a pig.
  14. Among printers, the iron with a wooden handle, by which the screw of the press is turned.
  15. In the African trade, a denomination of price; payment formerly being made to the Africans in iron bars. – Johnson.

BAR, v.t.

  1. To fasten with a bar; as, to bar a door or gate.
  2. To hinder; to obstruct; to prevent; as, to bar the entrance of evil.
  3. To prevent; to exclude; to hinder; to make impracticable; as, the distance between us bars our intercourse. In this sense, the phrase is often varied, thus: the distance bars me from his aid, or bars him from my aid.
  4. To prohibit; to restrain or exclude by express or implied prohibition; as, the statute bars my right; the law bars the use of poisoned weapons.
  5. To obstruct, prevent or hinder by any moral obstacle; as, the right is barred by time, or by statute; a release bars the plaintif's recovery.
  6. To except; to exclude by exception; as, I bar to-night. – Shak.
  7. To cross with stripes of a different color.
  8. To bar a rein, in farriery, is an operation upon the legs of a horse, or other parts, to stop malignant humors. This is done by opening the skin above a vein, disengaging it and tying it both above and below, and striking between the two ligatures. – Johnson.
  9. To adorn with trappings; a contraction of barb. [See Barb.] – Drayton. Haywood.

BARB, n. [L. barba; W. barv; Corn. bar; Arm. baro. This is beard, with a different ending. The sense may be, that which shoots out.]

  1. Beard, or that which resembles it; or grows in the place of it; as the barb of a fish, the smaller claws of the polypus, &c. – Johnson. Coxe.
  2. The down, or pubes, covering the surface of some plants; or rather, a tuft or bunch of strong hairs terminating leaves. – Linnæus. Milne.
  3. Anciently, armor for horses; formerly, barbe or barde. – Hayward.
  4. A common name of the Barbary pigeon, a bird of a black or dun color. – Dict. of Nat. Hist.
  5. A horse from Barbary, of which it seems to be a contraction.
  6. The points that stand backward in an arrow, fish-hook or other instrument for piercing, intended to prevent its being extracted.
  7. In botany, a straight process armed with teeth pointing backward like the sting of a bee. This is one sort of pubescence. – Martyn.

BARB, v.t.

  1. To shave; to dress the beard. [Obs.] – Shak.
  2. To furnish with barbs, as an arrow, fish-hook, spear, or other instrument.
  3. To put armor on a horse. – Milton.

BAR'BA-CAN, n. [Fr. barbacane; Sp. barbacana; It. barbacane. Qu. a projecting work.]

  1. A fortification or outer defense to a city or castle, consisting of an elevation of earth about three feet high, along the foot of the rampart. – Encyc. Johnson. Sp. Dict.
  2. A fortress at the end of a bridge, or at the outlet of a city, having a double wall with towers. – Encyc.
  3. An opening in the wall of a fortress through which guns are leveled and fired upon an enemy. – Johnson. Encyc. The French use the word also for an aperture in a wall to let in or drain off water; and the Spaniards, for a low wall round a church-yard. – Fr. and Sp. Dict.


An inhabitant of Barbadoes.


The Malpighia, a tree growing in the West Indies, fifteen feet high, and producing a pleasant tart fruit. – Johnson.


A mineral fluid, of the nature of the thicker fluid bitumens, of a nauseous bitterish taste, a very strong disagreeable smell, viscid, of a brown, black or reddish color; it easily melts, and burns with much smoke, but is not soluble in ardent spirits. It contains a portion of acid of amber. It trickles down the sides of mountains in some parts of America, and sometimes is found on the surface of the waters. It is recommended in coughs and disorders of the breast and lungs. – Encyc. Nicholson.


  1. Belonging to savages; rude; uncivilized. – Pope.
  2. Cruel; inhuman.

BAR-BA'RI-AN, n. [L. barbarus; Gr. βαρβαρος; Ir. barba, or beorb; Russ. varvar; Ch. ברבר. See Class Br, Nos. 3 and 7. The sense is, foreign, wild, fierce.]

  1. A man in his rude, savage state; an uncivilized person. – Denham.
  2. A cruel, savage, brutal man; one destitute of pity or humanity. – Philips.
  3. A foreigner. The Greeks and Romans denominated most foreign nations barbarians; and many of these were less civilized than themselves, or unacquainted with their language, laws and manners. But with them the word was less reproachful than with us.

BAR-BAR'IC, a. [L. barbaricus. See Barbarian. The Romans applied this word to designate things foreign; Barbaricum aurum, gold from Asia, Virg. Æn. 2. 504; Barbaricæ vestes, embroidered garments from foreign nations. English writers use the word in a like sense.]

Foreign; imported from foreign nations. – Milton. Pope.

BAR'BA-RISM, n. [L. barbarismus. See Barbarian.]

  1. An offense against purity of style or language; any form of speech contrary to the pure idioms of a particular language. – Dryden.
  2. Ignorance of arts; want of learning. – Shak. Dryden.
  3. Rudeness of manners; savagism; incivility; ferociousness; a savage state of society. – Spenser. Davies.
  4. Brutality; cruelty; barbarity. [In this sense little used, being superseded by barbarity.]

BAR-BAR'I-TY, n. [See Barbarian.]

  1. The manners of a barbarian; savageness; cruelty; ferociousness; inhumanity. – Clarendon.
  2. Barbarism; impurity of speech. – Dryden. Swift. [The use of the word in this sense, is now superseded by barbarism.]


To make barbarous. Hideous changes have barbarized France. – Burke.


  1. Uncivilized; savage; unlettered; untutored; ignorant; unacquainted with arts; stranger to civility of manners. Thou art a Roman; be not barbarous. – Shak.
  2. Cruel; ferocious; inhuman; as, barbarous usage. – Clarendon.


  1. In the manner of a barbarian; ignorantly; without knowledge or arts; contrary to the rules of speech. – Dryden.
  2. In a savage, cruel, ferocious or inhuman manner.


  1. Rudeness or incivility of manners. – Temple.
  2. Impurity of language. – Brerewood.
  3. Cruelty; inhumanity; barbarity. – Hall.


A Barbary horse; a barb. – Beaum.


A bat with hairy lips.

BAR'BATE, or BAR'BA-TED, a. [L. barbatus, from barba. See Barb.]

In botany, bearded; also gaping or ringent. Barbatus flos, a gaping or ringent flower; synonymous with the ringent flower of Linnæus, and the labiate of Tournefort. – Milne. Lee.


In the military art, to fire in barbe, is to fire the cannon over the parapet, instead of firing through the embrasures. – Encyc.


In the West Indies, a hog roasted whole. It is, with us, used for an ox or perhaps any other animal dressed in like manner.

BAR'BE-CUE, v.t.

To dress and roast a hog whole, which is done by splitting the hog to the back bone, and roasting it on a gridiron; to roast any animal whole.

BARB'ED, pp. [See Barb.]

  1. Furnished with armor; as, barbed steeds. – Shak.
  2. Bearded; jagged with hooks or points; as, barbed arrows.
  3. Shaved or trimmed; having the beard dressed. – Encyc.

BARB'EL, n. [L. barba; Fr. barbeau; D. barbeel.]

  1. A fish of the genus Cyprinus, of the order of Abdominals. The mouth is toothless; the gill has three rays; the body is smooth and white. This fish is about three feet long, and weighs 18 pounds. It is a very coarse fish, living in deep still rivers and rooting like swine in the soft banks. Its dorsal fin is armed with a strong spine, sharply serrated, from which circumstance it probably received its name. – Encyc.
  2. A knot of superfluous flesh, growing in the channels of a horse's mouth; written also barble, or barb. – Encyc. Farrier's Dict.