Definitions

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

  • n. Any of various marine crustaceans of the subclass Cirripedia that in the adult stage form a hard shell and remain attached to submerged surfaces, such as rocks and ships' bottoms.
  • n. The barnacle goose.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A marine crustacean of the subclass Cirripedia that attaches itself to submerged surfaces such as tidal rocks or the bottoms of ships.
  • n. The barnacle goose.
  • n. In electrical engineering, a change made to a product on the manufacturing floor that was not part of the original product design.
  • n. On printed circuit boards, a change such as soldering a wire in order to connect two points, or addition such as an added resistor or capacitor, subassembly or daughterboard.
  • n. An instrument like a pair of pincers, to fix on the nose of a vicious horse while shoeing so as to make it more tractable.
  • n. A nickname for spectacles.
  • n. A good job, or snack easily obtained.
  • v. To connect with or attach.
  • v. To press close against something.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any cirriped crustacean adhering to rocks, floating timber, ships, etc., esp. (a) the sessile species (genus Balanus and allies), and (b) the stalked or goose barnacles (genus Lepas and allies). See cirripedia, and goose barnacle.
  • n. A bernicle goose.
  • n. An instrument for pinching a horse's nose, and thus restraining him.
  • n. Spectacles; -- so called from their resemblance to the barnacles used by farriers.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A species of wild goose, Anser bernicla or Bernicla leucopsis, also called barnacle-goose or bernacle-goose.
  • n. A species of stalked cirriped, Lepas anatifera, of the family Lepadidæ, found hanging in clusters by the long peduncle to the bottoms of ships, to floating timber, or to submerged wood of any kind; the goose-mussel, fabled to fall from its support and turn into a goose (see def. 1).
  • n. Anything resembling a barnacle (in sense 2).
  • n. A person holding on tenaciously to a place or position; one who is a useless or incompetent fixture in an office or employment; a follower who will not be dismissed or shaken off.
  • n. [Cf. barnard.] A decoy swindler.
  • To fix or attach, as a barnacle upon the bottom of a ship.
  • n. A kind of bit or muzzle used to restrain an unruly horse or ass; now (usually in the plural), an instrument consisting of two branches joined at one end with a hinge, placed on a horse's nose to restrain him while being shod, bled, or dressed.
  • n. Hence An instrument of torture applied in a similar way to persons.
  • n. plural Spectacles.
  • To apply barnacles to: as, to barnacle a horse.

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

  • n. European goose smaller than the brant; breeds in the far north
  • n. marine crustaceans with feathery food-catching appendages; free-swimming as larvae; as adults form a hard shell and live attached to submerged surfaces

Etymologies

Middle English, barnacle goose, from Old French bernacle, from Medieval Latin bernacula, diminutive of bernaca, perhaps from Old Irish báirneach, limpet.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English barnakille, from earlier bernake, bernekke, from Old French bernaque ("barnacle"), from Gaulish *barenica (“limpet”) (compare Welsh brennig, Irish báirneac), from *barenos (“rock”) (compare Old Irish barenn ("boulder")); for sense development, compare Ancient Greek λέπας (lépas, "rock") which gave λεπάς (lepás, "limpet"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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