Definition of barrier in English:



  • 1A fence or other obstacle that prevents movement or access.

    ‘the mountain barrier between Norway and Sweden’
    • ‘However, he told council he would like to protect the fence with barriers, to prevent vehicle operators from accidentally running into the fence.’
    • ‘As helicopters buzzed overhead, army engineers erected concrete barriers and razor wire fences in the fields off Drumcree Road.’
    • ‘The buried debris then acts as a physical barrier to the movement of water upward and downward.’
    • ‘In the western world, the sea has come to be regarded as a barrier, restricting our movements.’
    • ‘The only real injury that I suffered was when I wrenched my knee jumping down from the barrier fence getting out of the ring.’
    • ‘A bulldozer blade would be similarly effective today, for use in clearing rabble and barriers during urban movement.’
    • ‘Special thanks also to Noel Kenny and Cecil Carter for the sound system, Andrew Broderick for organising the power and to Rent a Fence for providing the barriers.’
    • ‘Over the past year their government has set about establishing that separation unilaterally by the construction of a serpentine course of fences, barriers, walls.’
    • ‘As security fences and barriers went up, manholes were welded shut and hotels and offices swept by teams of officials.’
    • ‘A uniformed cop stands next to the boy and both are enclosed in a space fenced off with four-foot-high barriers.’
    • ‘Roads passing the hotel will be blocked, local people issued with photographic identity cards and a five-mile steel fence with a second barrier inside the grounds will cordon off the hotel itself.’
    • ‘They weren't there to keep me away from, Heaven forbid, a Democrat or a protester; those folks were kept safely behind rings of fences and concrete barriers.’
    • ‘They were in talks with the council to replace a wooden fence with a barrier but were told last week it would never happen.’
    • ‘The only barrier is to the movement of cars onto the streetcar tracks.’
    • ‘The tahsildar had to intervene and put up a barrier blocking the movement of people and vehicles.’
    • ‘Summit delegates will hold their air conditioned talks there behind police lines, wire fences, concrete barriers and the sound of percussion grenades fired at protesters.’
    • ‘The Oceanlab team discovered that the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is a barrier to the movement of deep-sea fish between the east and west Atlantic Ocean.’
    • ‘The security perimeter around the missions of the UK, the US and Turkey was widened and new fences and barriers were installed.’
    • ‘The mountains provided a natural barrier to allow the settlers to build their own eco-system.’
    • ‘It's one thing to put up a security fence, a barrier that is clearly on your property, the dividing line, so to speak, in order to protect yourself.’
    fence, railing, barricade, hurdle, bar, blockade, roadblock
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    1. 1.1British A gate at a car park or railway station that controls access by being raised or lowered.
      • ‘You see, they've installed these ticket barriers at Oxford station and today was supposed to be the day upon which these came into use.’
      • ‘Nurses at Wallsend Aged Care Facility have voted to take industrial action if work commences to build barriers or gates to car parking areas.’
      • ‘I had been to the supermarket, which has a car-park incorporating barriers and tickets.’
      • ‘The boss of a supermarket is to put barriers across its car park to keep out car cruisers who use it as a meeting place.’
      • ‘He leapt over station barriers and jumped on the tube.’
      • ‘The extra parking revenue will help pay for a new pay station system instead of putting coins in the barrier to leave the car park.’
      • ‘The police also raised the barriers at the Riom tollgate in anticipation of the satanic Vel Satis making a break for freedom.’
      • ‘Road-users were alarmed when the Drypool Bridge started to open without the usual warning signals or barriers being lowered’
      • ‘They were finally shifted after the council dug trenches and police escorted the caravans and vehicles off the car park, installing barriers in their wake.’
      • ‘Last February's disaster exposed the inadequacy of barriers dividing road and railway.’
      • ‘The train is late and there begins a tiny shuffling, like a re-focusing of the group, as we all look up the tracks where the barriers are still raised and the individual traffic is crossing.’
      • ‘Traffic was controlled and barriers put up by the council to keep pedestrians safe and form a protected walkway on the road.’
      • ‘Instead he panicked, jumping over the station's ticket barriers and running down to a train where he was shot.’
      • ‘She also says that barrier controlled car parks have to be manned at all times so staff can let disabled people out.’
      • ‘Ticket barriers at stations slow down passenger flow, but the determined non-payer can still vault over them, or sneak through behind a legitimate ticketholder.’
      • ‘An investigation has been launched after a minibus full of passengers went through the barriers at Manningtree railway station - just seconds before a train was due to arrive.’
      • ‘At other times, the barriers will control access and there will be a Euro2-exit charge.’
      • ‘Many train stations now have automatic barriers that only allow ticket holders onto the platform.’
      • ‘Think Pret a Manger; think bendy buses; think automatic ticket barriers at Charing Cross station.’
      • ‘Automatic barriers at the village railway station were controlled by rail staff during the emergency.’
      wicket, wicket gate, lychgate, five-barred gate, turnstile
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    2. 1.2A circumstance or obstacle that keeps people or things apart or prevents communication or progress.
      ‘a language barrier’
      ‘the cultural barriers to economic growth’
      • ‘Ironically, those people who make the greatest demands on the healthcare system are those facing the greatest barriers to using online communication tools.’
      • ‘Though volunteers expected all kinds of difficulties the language barrier broke all of Shen's expectations, despite having a good command of English.’
      • ‘But the 1970s also witnessed attempts to break down the racial barriers to economic opportunity and home ownership.’
      • ‘They are warm, but the language barrier keeps us apart.’
      • ‘With visionaries like this leading the charge, it's hard to conceive of any barriers a hip-hop movement can't break.’
      • ‘The language barrier prevented direct access to the sources of supply of Chinese goods and to their final customers.’
      • ‘It would also be informative to track all hospital deaths and discover the obstacles and barriers to obtaining an autopsy.’
      • ‘But the remaining barriers to completely liberalized trade lend themselves to be very focused defensive positions.’
      • ‘As for the other subject, elimination of trade barriers to environmental goods and services will facilitate both the expansion of trade and protection of the environment.’
      • ‘What are the barriers to effective communication?’
      • ‘Through lobbying government, educational workshops, videos and programs, they are working together to remove barriers to women in trades.’
      • ‘For decades, the women's movement has challenged the barriers created in part by the dichotomies of female vs. male.’
      • ‘How far and how quickly to tear down barriers to world farm trade was a key topic of the discussions, which showed countries were still widely split on the issue.’
      • ‘The large food retailers are going global, and as barriers to trade come down, the economics ate determining where the investment and trade take place.’
      • ‘Thai TV, apart from the language barrier, has limited international appeal for these kinds of shows.’
      • ‘The Department of Social Development is mandated with break down barriers to equality of opportunity for Canadians.’
      • ‘A helpful part of this section is an explicit description outlining how the program overcame obstacles and barriers to implementation.’
      • ‘Sometimes even the language barrier cannot keep hypocrites apart.’
      • ‘Patients with communication barriers (eg, language, hearing, speech) should be provided with an interpreter.’
      • ‘The Europeans in this regards are the worst culprits, with more and more useless regulation being used as barriers to free trade.’
      obstacle, obstruction, hurdle, stumbling block, bar, block, impediment, hindrance
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Late Middle English (denoting a palisade or fortification defending an entrance): from Old French barriere, of unknown origin; related to barre.