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  • IPA(key): /bɑː(ɹ)bd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɑː(ɹ)bd


barbed (comparative more barbed, superlative most barbed)

  1. Having barbs.
    • 1847, Henry Gough, A Glossary of Terms Used in British Heraldry: With a Chronological Table, Illustrative of Its Rise and Progress, page 81:
      COCKATRICE an imaginary monster resembling a wivern with the head of a cock, the tongue barbed. It occurs displayed, but is ordinarily borne with the wings endorsed.
  2. (heraldry)
    1. Having barbs of a certain colour (as or similar to an arrow); beared.
      • 1899, Thomas Benolt, The Visitations of the County of Surrey: Made and Taken in the Years 1530 by Thomas Benolte, Clarenceux King of Arms ; 1572 by Robert Cooke, Clarenceux King of Arms ; and 1623 by Samuel Thompson, Windsor Herald, and Augustin Vincent, Rouge Croix Pursuivant, Marshals and Deputies to William Camden, Clarenceux King of Arms, page 232:
        Crest : A demi-cockatrice or, crested gules, stricken through the back of the neck with an arrow sable, barbed and flighted argent. Sable, two bars humettée or between a cock in fesse and a swan in chief and in base argent.
      • 1915, Guy Cadogan Rothery, A. B. C. of Heraldry, page 24:
        The cross barbed has its limbs terminated by arrow-heads; it is sometimes emblazoned cramponée and tournée, but Edmondson gives the last name to a totally different cross, one not unlike the cross fourchée.
    2. Having gills or wattles (as a bird); wattled.
      • 1729, Abel Boyer, Le Grand théâtre de l'honneur et de noblesse [assisted by John Innes?] (overall work in French and English), page 77:
        Ex. A Cock barbed and crested, (that is, wattled and combed, which signifies the Comb and Gills of a Cock, when born of a different Tincture from the Body)
      • 1804, Alexander Nisbet, A system of heraldry, speculative and practical: with the true art of Blazon ... Illustrated with suitable examples of armorial figures, and achievements of the most considerable surnames and families in Scotland ..., page 216:
        About the year 1446, he carried, as by our old books of blazons, quarterly, first and fourth Marr; second and third Lyle, as above blazoned; for crest, a cock or, crested and barbed gules: motto, An I may; supported by two []
    3. Having sepals or leaves between the petals (on a rose, etc).
      • 1874, John Woody Papworth, An Alphabetical Dictionary of Coats of Arms Belonging to Families in Great Britain and Ireland, page 859:
        PLANT (?Plantagenet). Arg. a rose gu. seeded or barbed vert.
  3. (of language, etc.) Deliberately hurtful; biting; caustic.
  4. (of a horse) Accoutered with defensive armor; barded.
    • 1638, Walter Raleigh, The Prerogative of Parliaments:
      Your Lordship may remember in your reading, that there were many Earles could bring into the field a thousand Barbed horses




  1. simple past and past participle of barb

Derived terms[edit]


  • The Manual of Heraldry, Fifth Edition, by Anonymous, London, 1862, online at [1]