Definitions

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

  • noun A sharp point projecting in reverse direction to the main point of a weapon or tool, as on an arrow or fishhook.
  • noun A cutting remark.
  • noun Zoology One of the parallel filaments projecting from the main shaft of a feather.
  • noun Botany A short, sharp, reflexed bristle or hairlike projection.
  • noun Any of various Old World freshwater fishes of the genera Barbus, Puntius, and related genera of the family Cyprinidae.
  • noun A linen covering for a woman's head, throat, and chin worn in medieval times.
  • transitive verb To provide or furnish with a barb.
  • noun A horse of a breed introduced by the Moors into Spain from northern Africa that has high withers and an arched neck and is known for its speed and endurance.
  • noun Any of a breed of domestic pigeon that has prominent wattles around the eyes.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A beard; anything which resembles a beard or grows in the place of it.
  • noun In botany, a terminal tuft of hairs; a beard; more usually, a retrorse tooth or double tooth terminating an awn or prickle.
  • noun In ornithology, one of the processes, of the first order, given off by the rachis of a feather.
  • noun One of the sharp points projecting backward from the penetrating extremity of an arrow, fish-hook, or other instrument for piercing, intended to fix it in place; a beard.
  • noun A linen covering for the throat and breast, sometimes also for the lower part of the face, worn by women throughout the middle ages in western Europe. It was at times peculiar to nuns or women in mourning.
  • noun A band or small scarf of lace, or other fine material, worn by women at the neck or as a headdress.
  • noun Same as barbel, 3.
  • noun In heraldry, one of the five leaves of the calyx which project beyond and between the petals of the heraldic rose. See barbed, 3.
  • noun A bur or roughness produced in the course of metal-working, as in coining and engraving.
  • noun A military term used in the phrase to fire in barb, in barbette, or en barbe, that is, to fire cannon over the parapet instead of through the embrasures.
  • noun Also spelled barbe.
  • To shave; dress the beard.
  • To pare or shave close to the surface; mow.
  • To clip, as gold.
  • To furnish with barbs, as an arrow, fish-hook, spear, or other instrument.
  • To shave.
  • noun Same as bard, n.
  • Same as bard, verb
  • noun A horse of the breed introduced by the Moors into Spain from Barbary and Morocco, and remarkable for speed, endurance, and docility.
  • noun A breed of domestic pigeons having a short broad beak, classed by Darwin with the carriers and runts. Also called barb-pigeon, Barbary pigeon, and Barbary carrier.
  • noun A sciænoid fish, Menticirrus alburnus, better known as kingfish. See kingfish.
  • To bend or hook the points of wire teeth in the card-clothing used in carding textile fibers.

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

  • noun The Barbary horse, a superior breed introduced from Barbary into Spain by the Moors.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A blackish or dun variety of the pigeon, originally brought from Barbary.
  • noun Armor for a horse. Same as 2d bard, n., 1.
  • noun Beard, or that which resembles it, or grows in the place of it.
  • noun obsolete A muffler, worn by nuns and mourners.
  • noun Paps, or little projections, of the mucous membrane, which mark the opening of the submaxillary glands under the tongue in horses and cattle. The name is mostly applied when the barbs are inflamed and swollen.
  • noun The point that stands backward in an arrow, fishhook, etc., to prevent it from being easily extracted. Hence: Anything which stands out with a sharp point obliquely or crosswise to something else.
  • noun obsolete A bit for a horse.
  • noun (Zoöl.) One of the side branches of a feather, which collectively constitute the vane. See Feather.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A southern name for the kingfishes of the eastern and southeastern coasts of the United States; -- also improperly called whiting.
  • noun (Bot.) A hair or bristle ending in a double hook.
  • transitive verb obsolete To shave or dress the beard of.
  • transitive verb obsolete To clip; to mow.
  • transitive verb To furnish with barbs, or with that which will hold or hurt like barbs, as an arrow, fishhook, spear, etc.

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

  • noun The Barbary horse, a superior breed introduces from Barbary into Spain by the Moors.
  • noun The point that stands backward in an arrow, fishhook, etc., to prevent it from being easily extracted. Hence: Anything which stands out with a sharp point obliquely or crosswise to something else.
  • noun figuratively A hurtful or disparaging remark.
  • noun A beard, or that which resembles it, or grows in the place of it.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English barbe, from Old French, beard, from Latin barba; see bhardh-ā- in Indo-European roots.]

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

[French barbe, from Italian barbero, Berber, from Vulgar Latin *Barbaria, Barbary States, from Latin barbarus, barbarous; see barbarous.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Barbary, by shortening

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French barbe ("beard, beard-like element")

Examples

Comments

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  • "She barbs with wit those darts too keen before: —"

    Sheridan, School for Scandal

    January 2, 2008