Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One whose business is to cut hair and to shave or trim beards.
  • transitive v. To cut the hair of.
  • transitive v. To shave or trim the beard of.
  • intransitive v. To work as a barber.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person whose profession is cutting (usually male) customers’ hair and beards.
  • n. A barber surgeon, a foot soldier specializing in treating battlefield injuries.
  • v. To cut the hair or beard of (a person).
  • v. To chatter, talk.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One whose occupation it is to shave or trim the beard, and to cut and dress the hair of his patrons.
  • n. A storm accompanied by driving ice spicules formed from sea water, esp. one occurring on the Gulf of St. Lawrence; -- so named from the cutting ice spicules.
  • transitive v. To shave and dress the beard or hair of.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To shave and dress the hair of.
  • n. One whose occupation is to shave the beard and cut and dress the hair.
  • n. Same as surgeon-fish.
  • n. A fish, Cæsioperca rasor, of the family Serranidæ. Also called red perch.
  • n. A gale of wind with damp snow or sleet and spray that freezes upon every object, especially the beard and hair. Said to be called berber by wharfmen in New York.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. perform the services of a barber: cut the hair and/or beard of
  • n. United States composer (1910-1981)
  • n. a hairdresser who cuts hair and shaves beards as a trade

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French barbour, from Medieval Latin barbātōr, from Latin barba, beard; see bhardh-ā- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman barbour, from Old French barbeor, from Latin barba. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The man with the shears eschews the term barber, preferring either artist or sculptor, but his role at Truth and Soul Black Stars is even more expansive: adviser, storyteller, protector, father figure to fatherless youths, friend.

    chicagotribune.com -

  • I wonder, too, whether these lumbering uses of the term barber originally had any connection with the notion of poor cutting; the connotations of barber in informal speech have not always been the most favorable.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol II No 4

  • Another statesman came into the shop and said, Hello, Sir John, I guess the barber is the only man in Canada that can have you by the nose?

    Sir John A. MacDonald, Empire Builder

  • For me, the ideal barber is the one who doesn't talk and the ideal accommodation is clean, comfortable and anonymous.

    Steve Poses: On the Road: Farm Stands of the Hudson River Valley, NY

  • I went to bathe and a bit of hair fell out, and last night we called the barber, Chávez told politicians during a swearing-in ceremony for new cabinet ministers.

    Hugo Chávez shows off new haircut

  • If any barber is good enough to shave your neck, and then I am, too.

    CHAPTER V

  • When I called the barber shop, they told me that in addition to Landry, their clients have included siblings of Clinton Portis and Fred Davis, and that all three players and many more have their photos hanging on the wall.

    LaRon Landry's barbershop celebration

  • There will be Barack portraits hanging in barber shops in Milwaukee, Birmingham and Bozeman, as well as Tokyo and Buenos Aires, perhaps even Cairo and Jakarta.

    Scripting News for 6/8/2008 « Scripting News Annex

  • Compared to full salon haircuts, having a buzz cut at the barber is inexpensive: $10 to $25 depending on the neighbourhood.

    Hands-on Review: Philips Hair Clipper | Sync Blog

  • I called the barber in question, Joe Tourrenoueva, who has been my barber for 40 years, since way back when he charged $20.

    Norman Lear: Bullshit Trouble in River City

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