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

  • noun An urban district or quarter in a Spanish-speaking country.
  • noun A chiefly Spanish-speaking community or neighborhood in a US city.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A village or small town which has no independent administration, but which is subordinated to a larger town. See pueblo.
  • noun A ward; a division of a termino or municipal district in Cuba.

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

  • noun In Spain and countries colonized by Spain, a village, ward, or district outside a town or city to whose jurisdiction it belongs; in Spanish-speaking areas of cities in the United States, it is a neighborhood, ward, or quarter inside a town.

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

  • noun informal An area or neighborhood in a U.S. city inhabited primarily by people speaking Spanish or of Hispanic origin.

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

  • noun a Spanish-speaking quarter in a town or city (especially in the United States)
  • noun an urban area in a Spanish-speaking country


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

[Spanish, from Arabic barrī, of an open area, from barr, open area; see brr in Semitic roots.]



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  • barrio is derived from a semitic root:

    Semitic Roots

    ENTRY: brr.

    DEFINITION: To be(come) clear, pure, white. 1. barrio, from Arabic barr, open (of land), rural, from barr, open area, akin to barra, to be kind, true, in derived stem barrara, to clear, acquit. 2. birr2, from Amharic brr, coin, silver (< “white metal�?).

    source American Heritage Dictionary

    July 16, 2007