from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To exclude or shut out; bar.
  • transitive verb To forbid, hinder, or prevent.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To bar out; shut out; preclude; exclude; prevent from entering; deny right of access to; hinder from approach, entry, use, etc.
  • Synonyms To interdict, prohibit, prevent, restrain.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To cut off from entrance, as if by a bar or barrier; to preclude; to hinder from approach, entry, or enjoyment; to shut out or exclude; to deny or refuse; -- with from, and sometimes with of.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To exclude or shut out; to bar.
  • verb US, law To prohibit a person or company that has been convicted of criminal acts in connection with an application for approval of a new drug from participating in future applications.

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

  • verb prevent the occurrence of; prevent from happening
  • verb bar temporarily; from school, office, etc.
  • verb prevent from entering; keep out


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

[Middle English debarren, from Old French desbarer, to unbar : des-, de- + barer, to bar (from barre, bar; see bar).]


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  • Israelites with a profound reverence for holy things; and nothing was more suited to this purpose than to debar from the tabernacle all who were polluted by any kind of uncleanness, ceremonial as well as natural, mental as well as physical.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible 1871

  • Beware lest any name debar thee from God, the Creator of earth and heaven.

    The Promised Day Is Come 1897-1957 Shoghi Effendi 1927

  • Beware lest any name debar thee from God, the Creator of earth and heaven.

    The Proclamation of Bahá'u'lláh 1817-1892 Bah��'u'll��h 1854

  • One EPA official a few years back threatened to "debar" BP from government contracts if it didn't submit to tougher regulation.

    Linda Keenan: Shadow Elite : Think BP's The Bad Guy? Think Bigger, Way Bigger 2010

  • 167 Beware lest any name debar you from Him Who is the Possessor of all names, or any word shut you out from this Remembrance of God, this Source of Wisdom amongst you.

    The Kitáb-i-Aqdas 1817-1892 Bah��'u'll��h 1854

  • "debar" BP from all government contracts and terminate the six Pentagon agreements.

    Bloomberg 2010

  • She had, at first, yielded to our entreaties; but when she heard that her favourite was recovering, she could no longer debar herself from her society, and entered her chamber long before the danger of infection was past.

    Chapter 2 2010

  • Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who chairs an investigative subcommittee that will hold a hearing on the report today, said the Obama administration should "get on with it and actually debar the worst of the tax cheats from the contractor workforce."

    GAO report: Tax cheats received billions in stimulus funds 2011

  • I tried to conceal this as much as possible, that I might not debar him from the pleasures natural to one who was entering on a new scene of life, undisturbed by any care or bitter recollection.

    Chapter 2 2010

  • Buyer said he wanted to work with Mitchell to add to a provision demanding that the VA debar the fraudulent companies — even though the department already has the authority to do so.

    NEWS December 2010


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  • Contronymic in the sense: open (remove a bar) vs. prohibit (from practicing law).

    January 27, 2007

  • Where you order dedrinks.

    July 27, 2008