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See also: Barrier


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From Middle English barryer, barrere, barryȝer, from Old French barriere (compare French barrière), from Old French barre (bar).



barrier (plural barriers)

  1. A structure that bars passage.
    The bus went through a railway barrier and was hit by a train.
    The bomber had passed through one checkpoint before blowing himself up at a second barrier.
  2. An obstacle or impediment.
    Even a small fee can be a barrier for some students.
    • 2013 June 1, “Towards the end of poverty”, in The Economist[1], volume 407, number 8838, page 11:
      America’s poverty line is $63 a day for a family of four. In the richer parts of the emerging world $4 a day is the poverty barrier. But poverty’s scourge is fiercest below $1.25 ([…]): people below that level live lives that are poor, nasty, brutish and short.
  3. A boundary or limit.
    Few marathon runners break the three-hour time barrier.
  4. (grammar) A node (in government and binding theory) said to intervene between other nodes A and B if it is a potential governor for B, c-commands B, and does not c-command A.
  5. (physiology) A separation between two areas of the body where specialized cells allow the entry of certain substances but prevent the entry of others.
  6. (historical) The lists in a tournament.
  7. (historical, in the plural) A martial exercise of the 15th and 16th centuries.


Derived terms[edit]



barrier (third-person singular simple present barriers, present participle barriering, simple past and past participle barriered)

  1. (transitive) To block or obstruct with a barrier.
    Synonym: bar