Main definitions of bar in US English:

: bar1bar2

bar1

noun

  • 1A long rod or rigid piece of wood, metal, or similar material, typically used as an obstruction, fastening, or weapon.

    • ‘They tore metal window bars off the front of Parnella House and were smashing the bus shelter with them.’
    • ‘One of the downstairs windows has metal bars across it.’
    • ‘The one small window had iron bars surrounding it.’
    • ‘Through the iron bars of a big window we can see well-dressed Cubans dancing on the sidewalk.’
    • ‘‘I have had iron bars, lumps of wood, bottles, stones and even on old bath thrown into my garden,’ she added.’
    • ‘Police recovered a collection of weapons including steel bars, hammers and clubs, as well as a Vauxhall car.’
    • ‘The council is now renewing its security measures and thinking of placing metal bars across all windows, replacing the alarm system and upgrading its CCTV.’
    • ‘There were iron bars on the windows and a heavy padlock on the door to prevent looting.’
    • ‘Countryside Alliance spokeswoman Liz Mort said four hunt supporters were attacked with weapons including wooden bars and three were taken to hospital.’
    • ‘Homes and shops in Thailand most usually have iron gates and bars welded over the windows.’
    • ‘She was hustled into a police vehicle with bars on the windows.’
    • ‘The outside walls of the building now gleam white and the decorative wrought iron bars on the windows are a clean, pale blue.’
    • ‘Initially, these were very large weapons made of iron bars held together by iron rings.’
    • ‘A woman had a lucky escape on Thursday morning after metal reinforcement bars crashed through her car windscreen.’
    • ‘The attackers then jumped out of their cars and assaulted the two men with weapons believed to include baseball bats and iron bars.’
    • ‘A gang of youths terrified bus passengers in Leeds last night after going on the rampage with weapons including an iron bar and a bat.’
    • ‘The door was tall wood with metal bars supporting it.’
    • ‘The burglars cut through metal bars on a window at the rear of the store.’
    • ‘Most seniors I know live with iron grilles and bars, locked windows and doors.’
    • ‘On each side of me from floor to ceiling were wrought iron metal bars.’
    rod, pole, stake, stick, batten, shaft, shank, rail, pale, paling, spar, strut, support, prop, spoke, crosspiece, girder, beam, boom
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An amount of food or another substance formed into a regular narrow block.
      ‘a bar of chocolate’
      ‘gold bars’
      • ‘Dessert is frozen juice and ice cream bars with chocolate chip cookies.’
      • ‘I couldn't believe the amount of things she was given - not just cans of drink, or beer, and lots of food and candy bars but also, for example, a pot plant.’
      • ‘At home I made strong coffee and had it with a half a bar of white chocolate but neither revived me.’
      • ‘He bought an orange and a bar of chocolate, and glanced over a newspaper.’
      • ‘A teenager from Westbury got more than he bargained for when he bit into a chocolate bar to find a piece of metal embedded in it.’
      • ‘Prepare a colorful fruit salad as an alternative to candy bars and other junk food.’
      • ‘Someone gave me a bar of chocolate today, and it feels like I've eaten about fifteen bars of chocolate in one go.’
      • ‘I was told to go and get something to eat even if only a bar of chocolate or crisps.’
      • ‘You remove it from its confines and caress and touch it as if it's a bar of gold.’
      • ‘The vast majority did have at least one piece of fruit, usually an apple or a banana, but most lunch boxes also contained a bar of chocolate and a packet of crisps.’
      • ‘He buys Beth a present every day, even if it is just a bar of chocolate.’
      • ‘One young man had his life dramatically changed by the tour as he entered the vegan lifestyle, departing from a life of meat, chocolate bars, and fast food.’
      • ‘Over 60 mums attended and were also given a presentation on the history of Mothers' Day and a bar of chocolate by year six children.’
      • ‘We reached the first summit for lunch of a bar of chocolate and a sesame bar or dried fruit.’
      • ‘He picked up a bar of gold in his hands and, turning it over, discovered a tiny crown chiseled into one of the corners.’
      • ‘Included in the package are a bar of soap, a toner and a moisturizer.’
      • ‘The only items his wife has been allowed to give him on her visits have been a bar of soap, toothpaste, petroleum jelly and six apples.’
      • ‘Blokes shouldn't need shower gel - a bar of soap does the trick.’
      • ‘When you buy a newspaper or a bar of chocolate, tell the shop assistant you don't need a bag.’
      • ‘We turn to hamburgers, sausage pizza, french fries, candy bars and other foods high in fat, sugar and calories.’
      block, slab, cake, tablet, brick, loaf, wedge, lump, chunk, hunk, cube, ingot, nugget, piece
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A band of color or light, especially on a flat surface.
      ‘bars of sunlight shafting through the broken windows’
      • ‘He pulled on the headlights, and the beams cut into the darkness, solid bars of light in the smoke-filled air.’
      • ‘His monumental canvases, with their interlocking bars of earthy colour, reflect his early life as well as later influences.’
      • ‘After a green bar of light read his print, he pressed a sequence of buttons to the left.’
      • ‘I look at the bars of light coming in through the blind.’
      • ‘He looked through the gap between the door and the wall, a small bar of light illuminating his frightened features.’
    3. 1.3 A sandbank or shoal at the mouth of a harbor, bay, or estuary.
      • ‘That means thousands of boaters who rely on these multiple-use ports face the bleak prospect of shoaling channels and dangerous bars at river mouths.’
      • ‘If a tench wants to move from one side of a bar to the other it has two options.’
      • ‘In areas with episodic run-off, the whole plain may become, at periods of high discharge, part of the channel, with the deposition of a complex of shallow gravel and sand channels and bars.’
      • ‘Trout in particular spawn in the fall and can be found in deep water at this time. You can find them on bars, shoals, rocks and fingers.’
      • ‘Many of the rivers had bars at their mouths and navigation was hazardous: over the years a number of ships were lost as a result.’
      • ‘The host plant is an early successional, evergreen, nitrogen-fixing subshrub that grows on glacial moraine and river bars.’
      sandbank, shoal, bank, shallow, reef, ridge, ledge, shelf
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4Heraldry A charge in the form of a narrow horizontal stripe across the shield.
      • ‘It may be noted that a bar is never shown alone; there are always two or more.’
      • ‘The barrulet is the heraldic diminutive of the bar, and is generally one fourth the width of the bar.’
  • 2A counter across which alcoholic drinks or refreshments are served.

    • ‘When you walk through the front door of the old stone church you enter the reception area which consists of a bar to the left and a cosy waiting area to the right.’
    • ‘Chris Paling is standing at the bar in his London club, holding a cigarillo and a wine glass.’
    • ‘The tiny room was packed, with people standing at the bar and clustered around the pub tables nearby.’
    • ‘After thanking the many sponsors and supporters of the Club Mr. Brennan declared the bars open.’
    • ‘She insisted that she had agreed to come to St Lucia to serve drinks behind a bar, nothing else.’
    • ‘There was a dance floor right in the middle, a bar to the left and tons of tables all around.’
    • ‘Her joy turned to dismay as he walked round to the other side of the bar, served her drink, took her money and then served the next customer.’
    • ‘He reached below the bar and pulled out a blackboard on which were listed, as promised, the different types of stew.’
    • ‘He'll help with your bags, crack jokes, invite you to eat breakfast on his porch and - if things get busy - let you serve drinks at the bar.’
    • ‘On a recent Wednesday night the crowd was rowdy and stylish and clearly enjoying themselves at the bar at the front of the room.’
    • ‘I bought Chris a drink and we stood at the bar talking for most of the night.’
    • ‘I deliberately went and stood at the bar near by the group of girls on the other side of the pub, but they didn't even so much as look at me.’
    • ‘The barman himself had ducked below the bar at the first sign of trouble so that he would not know anything.’
    • ‘Admission is by ticket only, either from behind the bar in advance or on the door on the day.’
    • ‘I stood at the bar and stared at the barman, willing him to come to me next.’
    • ‘He was just sitting at the bar on a stool, in the next room, sipping his beer.’
    • ‘Sam reached under the bar, opened a bottle of Irish stout, and put it on the table.’
    • ‘I like to start casual dinner parties with an appetizer served at the bar facing our open kitchen.’
    • ‘And last night, he was at his regular pub, with his regular partner, standing in his regular place at the bar.’
    • ‘The next room was a lounge, with a piano, couches, dark lights, a small bar, and a stereo.’
    counter, table, buffet, stand
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A room in a restaurant or hotel in which alcohol is served.
      • ‘Now if we could just do something about the price of a martini at the hotel bar.’
      • ‘The gardens, fuelled by tropical drizzle, are immaculate, as is the cosy bar with fireplace, lit nightly at 6pm.’
      • ‘Within hours of the blaze she was able to open the main bar but has had to keep the rest of the pub closed.’
      • ‘Away from hotel bars, hotel rooms and suburban shopping centres, the England squad are a well-behaved bunch and as such have made no lasting enemies on the pitch.’
      • ‘It will also feature a lobby lounge and bar, a pool bar and a night club.’
      • ‘It's the cinema where I got very very drunk in the bar, and was barred from.’
      • ‘One imagines Pete Wiggs and Bob Stanley lounging around hotel bars in tailored suits, discussing real estate and drum programming.’
      • ‘Downstairs is dominated by a slick bar, muted colours, mismatched furniture and a dark slate floor.’
      • ‘We arrived early, parked easily and were then invited to have a drink in the bar while our table was prepared.’
      • ‘The Black & White Pub of the Year Awards seek to promote and recognise excellence within Ireland's premier pubs and hotel bars.’
      • ‘While the zine fair is taking place in the hotel's bar and ballroom, rooms on the second floor will host a variety of projects.’
      • ‘There is enough warmth in the hotel bar and lounge to keep Wick centrally heated for weeks, and anticipation is running high.’
      • ‘The inn was a small, modest building, with a few rooms and a large bar and tavern underneath.’
      • ‘Routinely described as a gourmet pub, it is really more of a restaurant with a small bar for pre-dinner drinks.’
      • ‘As she spoke, one woman walked through the bar with her cigarette lit as she moved from one doorway to another where her friends were while trying to stay out of the rain.’
      • ‘And afterwards we had a drink in the restaurant bar at the back of the Royal Festival Hall.’
      • ‘The rest of the hotel comprises a main bar, lounge, dining room, function room and main kitchen.’
      • ‘They had promised to turn the Victorian building into a ‘first quality hotel’ with a bar and restaurant, he said.’
      • ‘The renovations will include an extra bar upstairs, mood lighting on the windows overlooking the river and pastel-themed decor.’
      • ‘The hotel will feature meeting rooms, a restaurant and lounge, hotel bar, function rooms and a leisure centre.’
    2. 2.2 An establishment where alcohol and sometimes other refreshments are served.
      • ‘Your new alcohol policy would allow bars to open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.’
      • ‘Its city centre is being re-built, with new shops, clubs and bars opening each week.’
      • ‘About 10 minutes down the road from me, there's a complex of pubs, bars and clubs that stay open util 2am.’
      • ‘If you want to open a successful bar in Montreal, make it an authentic Irish pub.’
      • ‘There are many bars and night clubs, complete with music and dance.’
      • ‘Three years ago you could go to many bars and listen to metal, rock, punk and hardcore music.’
      • ‘I locate the strip of city bars where I see a group of friends laugh raucously in a manner which I realized I hadn't witnessed since leaving London.’
      • ‘How exactly will this law be enforced, and who will be liable if someone lights up in a bar?’
      • ‘Smoking was outlawed in bars, hotels and restaurants from 6am this morning to protect employees from being exposed to smoke in the workplace.’
      • ‘A number of bars have opened in recent years in the city as part of an initiative to introduce ‘European-style’ drinking.’
      • ‘Many bars opened, revitalising the city's nightlife.’
      • ‘At one time Wood Green had no bars of any sort and suddenly they got three - Yates, Chicago Rock Garden and Weatherspoons.’
      • ‘People in Ireland have not stopped eating out or visiting bars because they can't smoke.’
      • ‘But Beth added: ‘The bars staying open later is a good thing, because it's cheaper to stay there than go on to clubs.’’
      • ‘And there are fears that the problem of drunken, yobbish behaviour will only get worse as licensing hours are extended and new bars opened.’
      • ‘Over the last ten years Belfast has undergone some major cosmetic surgery and new pubs and bars have opened while existing ones have expanded.’
      • ‘But although some of the bars stayed open until 3am, the majority of pubs closed their doors at 1am as revellers headed off to the clubs.’
      • ‘Music can be heard on every corner of the capital and nearly all the bars have their own bands.’
      • ‘We then found an Irish bar with a band playing, so the requests went in and, before long, the pub was reeling to the sound of The Fields Of Athenry and suchlike.’
      • ‘There's a busy nightlife in the area, with many bars and clubs open into the early hours.’
      hostelry, tavern, inn, wine bar, taproom
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3with modifier A small store or booth serving refreshments or providing a service.
      ‘a dairy bar’
      • ‘Our city needs thriving locals far more than it needs another video shop or burger bar.’
      • ‘Since setting up her business in 1999, the founder of Nails Inc has opened 30 walk-in nail bars across the country.’
      • ‘About a year ago, Sambazon started importing this blend to the US and selling it to natural juice bars and health food stores.’
      • ‘It is a very popular sandwich bar in the centre of Glasgow - we get a lot of customers from Scottish Television as their studios are very close by.’
      • ‘The business team hopes to open two other sandwich bars in the Swindon area by 2006.’
      • ‘The village has two new luxury hotels, an ice rink, shops, juice bar and an ice creamery.’
      • ‘Live music, an organic café and juice bar, a play area and face painting make this a great day out for all the family.’
      • ‘Big book stores with latte bars often have live bands on weekend evenings and lecturers at various other times.’
      • ‘He also plans to re-open the Parlour tea room, which is part of the complex, as a coffee and sandwich bar.’
      • ‘In clothes stores, sandwich bars, gyms and coffee shops we face a constant barrage of background music - music we notice but rarely listen to.’
      • ‘The owners of a pub and sandwich bar in the village both said they knew nothing about their refuse being deposited at the illegal dump.’
      • ‘The trendy lower downtown area has sushi bars, day spas and a shop that sells ultra-cool Vespa scooters.’
      • ‘Keep your palate awake and you won't be slipping into your local sandwich bar or even the pub because your own BLT lacks a bit of oomph.’
      • ‘The manager of a Swindon sandwich bar is hoping to complete a trio of feats for charity when he does the New York Marathon.’
      • ‘The latest addition to Glasgow's burgeoning noodle bar scene, Soba is without peer when it comes to slick decor and extremely snappy service.’
      • ‘By creating your own itinerary, you avoid areas crammed with burger bars and British pubs and head for somewhere more authentic.’
      • ‘Half of the first floor is occupied by an ice cream bar and a leisure area with orange furniture.’
      • ‘The space can be subdivided for use as a convenience store and coffee shop or a sandwich bar.’
      • ‘An Irish sandwich bar in Swindon has been named the best of its kind.’
      • ‘It's a fashionable noodle bar with prompt service and well-priced, tasty food.’
  • 3A barrier or restriction to an action or advance.

    ‘political differences are not necessarily a bar to a good relationship’
    • ‘The immigration status of victims of crime should not act as a bar to the prosecution of criminal offences: yet of course, it does.’
    • ‘He also insisted his privileged background would not act as a bar to winning over new Conservative supporters in Scotland.’
    • ‘In classical Athens, for an adult male to be passive was a bar to the exercise of citizenship.’
    • ‘I asked Eric if he could speak Thai when he first came over and he admitted that he could not, but this was not a bar to business.’
    • ‘The formal listing of these buildings should not necessarily be a bar to all future change, the Trust says.’
    • ‘The other concerns were not considered a bar to the plans which are recommended for approval.’
    • ‘This of course need not be a bar to success in life.’
    • ‘A failure by the Court to maintain a dynamic and evolutive approach would risk rendering it a bar to reform or improvement.’
    • ‘The great wrong about them is that they are a bar to all chance of science and of progress in cookery.’
    • ‘The introduction of top-up fees in England was controversial because it was presented as a bar to access.’
    • ‘The trust's acquisition of the buildings would not be a bar to such moves, as the organisation frequently has tenants in its buildings.’
    • ‘I have a piece on how technology can be a bar to democracy on National Review Online.’
    • ‘Age is the measure of our days, but why should it become a bar to work or a handicap?’
    • ‘There is also a danger that, if too rigidly enforced, the existence of copyright could become a tool for censorship or a bar to the free circulation of ideas.’
    • ‘It was the first time the church's most senior cleric had said that the sexuality of ministers should not act as a bar to their appointment.’
    • ‘In no other walk of life, it seems, would someone's sexual orientation be considered a bar to holding high office.’
    • ‘All sides have acknowledged that the conflict is a bar to the humanitarian work needed to overcome the disaster.’
    • ‘Age is no longer a bar to indulge in accessories, be it bags or jewellery.’
    • ‘It's a bar to entry to many people whose academic merit may well be greater than those who can afford access.’
    • ‘In my view the incorporation of a local action group ought not to be a bar to the bringing of an application for judicial review.’
    obstacle, impediment, hindrance, obstruction, check, stop, block, hurdle, barrier, stumbling block, handicap, restriction, limitation
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1Law A plea arresting an action or claim in a law case.
      • ‘At all events he thought the chance of it doing so was sufficiently small that, set against other factors it should not act as a bar to striking out the proceedings.’
      • ‘As with misrepresentation, certain bars operate to prevent rescission.’
      • ‘Immunity is not absolute or a total bar to proceedings.’
      • ‘The onus shifts to the Defendants to clearly establish that public policy should be a bar to recovery.’
      • ‘Indeed, on those grounds she did not consider that sub-section was a bar to her proceedings.’
      • ‘Does the fraudulent misrepresentation bar Mr Halley's claim?’
      • ‘While this obviously is not a bar to proceeding again, it is certainly an additional impediment.’
      • ‘That is, in effect, a total bar on an existing cause of action.’
      • ‘This inhibition is to a large extent based on the Bill of Rights and the consequent bar to the impeachment of proceedings in Parliament.’
      • ‘In that sense, section 10 constituted only a procedural bar to his claim.’
      • ‘So there was an absolute bar on admission but the power to suspend or disbar is regarded as incidental to the power to admit.’
      • ‘A judgment against one is not a bar to a subsequent action against the others.’
      • ‘The plaintiff was advised of the statutory bar to his claim by letter in October 2001, but proceeded anyway.’
      • ‘I do not say that is a bar to making the submission that Mr Bowen makes, but it is highly relevant.’
      • ‘Sometimes it is not treated as an absolute bar but as merely an important matter to be weighed on the balance of convenience.’
      • ‘That benefits the lessee: it removes a possible bar to registration.’
      • ‘His Lordship seems to be saying that settlement can be a bar.’
      • ‘In such a case the bar is absolute in relation to all points decided unless fraud or collusion is alleged, such as to justify setting aside the earlier judgment.’
      • ‘If such parties are jointly liable, a judgment against one of them is a bar to proceedings against the others even whilst it is unsatisfied.’
      • ‘But that is a practical problem which cannot constitute a legal bar on a claim.’
  • 4Music
    A measure of music or the time of a piece of music.

    • ‘From the opening bars, I was hooked not only on the piece, but on the composer - to me, a major voice.’
    • ‘She nodded and listened to the first few bars of music before beginning to sing.’
    • ‘When the last bars of the music had died away, he shouted, ‘Sing that again!’’
    • ‘Musically, I have to say that the performance was quite thrilling, right from the opening bars of the overture.’
    • ‘Every DJ is putting one out and it's not hard to mix a few records together: if you can count 16 bars of music you can probably figure it out.’
    • ‘It's one of those pieces that grab you from the opening bars.’
    • ‘This may sound like the opening bars of a folk song, but it's true.’
    • ‘Behind him came a low laugh, then a few bars of tinkling music that cut off with a tinny snap.’
    • ‘After a few bars, the music and her concentration were interrupted by the ringing telephone.’
    • ‘The violinist plays the opening bars of a Mozart sonata, and the unaccustomed cadences and harmonies of classical western melody are like strange birdsong.’
    • ‘Sometimes, you know you are hearing a masterpiece after only a few bars of music waft through your headphones.’
    • ‘It is only eight bars of music, and I've lost count of the number of times it must have been played over the last 44 years.’
    • ‘Only the bass line and six bars of melody had survived, possibly from the slow movement of a Trio Sonata.’
    • ‘They may ask you to do a ‘freestyle’ at the end, which is where you showcase your best dance moves to a few bars of music.’
    • ‘Placing my hands over the white ivory and black keys, I began to play the first few bars of music.’
    • ‘Finally, when her instrument was in tune, she gave Darcy the signal, and he played the opening bars of the sonata.’
    • ‘Its precise consonant-vowel-consonant-vowel structure divides the words into syllables as regular as bars in music.’
    • ‘The first few bars of music rang out around the auditorium.’
    • ‘I've seen bands spend a day on a couple of bars of a bass line, making a loop.’
    • ‘He magically evoked the Alpine mystery of the score's opening bars.’
  • 5the barA partition in a courtroom or legislative assembly, now usually notional, beyond which most people may not pass and, in court, at which an accused person stands.

    ‘the prisoner at the bar’
    • ‘And far be it from any court to acknowledge that the defendant standing at the bar has any constitutional rights.’
    • ‘The defendant at the bar stands indicted by the grand jury of this county with the crime of murder in the first degree.’
    • ‘His handling of the funds when they did arrive gave rise to vigorous debate at the bar.’
    • ‘In an unprecedented move Magistrate Nicholas got up from the bench and sat at the bar table with the witness and the accused.’
    • ‘The lawyers sit at the bar table facing the magistrate and the defendant sits with his or her lawyer.’
    1. 5.1British A rail marking the end of each chamber in the Houses of Parliament.
      ‘he had to appear at the Bar of the House for a reprimand by the Speaker’
      • ‘At the other end of the chamber is the bar, at which the members of the Commons attend to hear the speech from the throne at the opening of Parliament.’
      • ‘If agreed, a member is ordered by the House to go to the bar of the House of Lords.’
      • ‘An inscription on the wall towards the west end shows the position of the Bar of the old House, by which the Lobby was marked off from the Chamber itself.’
  • 6The legal profession.

    • ‘He didn't like the law and was never called to the Bar.’
    • ‘He was a Junior Counsel in 1968, Senior Counsel in 1982, and was called to the English Bar in 1981.’
    • ‘The same year he would be called to the bar and later established a small practice in Montreal.’
    • ‘The young barrister, only at the bar nine months, then attempted to cross-examine this key prosecution witness.’
    • ‘The plaintiff has recently been called to the bar in Ontario.’
    1. 6.1British Barristers collectively.
      • ‘The Bar Council provides representation and services for the Bar, and guidance on issues of professional practice.’
      • ‘The senior judges in England and Wales are drawn almost exclusively from the Bar.’
      barristers, advocates, counsel
      View synonyms
    2. 6.2North American Lawyers collectively.
    3. 6.3 A particular court of law.
      • ‘He was admitted to the Bar of Western Australia at the Supreme Court in Perth on November 2.’

verb

[with object]
  • 1Fasten (something, especially a door or window) with a bar or bars.

    ‘she bolts and bars the door’
    • ‘After they were led into the building, the door was barred by armed police who said proceedings before a judge were taking place behind closed doors.’
    • ‘The window that was barred shut at the end of the hall was no barricade for Christine.’
    • ‘He and his roommate saw her coming and barred the door.’
    • ‘As soon as they were all out of the cabin she barred the door and would not let them in any more.’
    • ‘They herded them into a vast empty barn and barred the doors shut.’
    • ‘She locked and barred the kitchen door that led to the rest of the house.’
    • ‘The captain barred both her door and porthole.’
    • ‘Just as quickly, she shut and barred the door.’
    • ‘I wish I could have barred that door, nailed it shut somehow.’
    • ‘I listened until her retreating footsteps told me she was gone, and then got up to bar the door.’
    • ‘She barred the great door, and taking her daughter's hand, she began to run back through the rooms, with the maid following after in a panic.’
    • ‘They had climbed its walls, and barred its doors.’
    • ‘Their faces registered curiosity and a tinge of alarm as guards leaped to bar the massive doors at the main entrance.’
    • ‘Within 20 minutes, a SWAT team in dark-blue body armor had stormed in, barred the doors, and duct-taped the vents.’
    • ‘The doors had been barred shut, then pried open, allowing us to slip inside.’
    • ‘The rest of you will remain here, bar the doors and windows, and afterwards stay well away from the windows.’
    • ‘They were crying and frightened and shaking; hurriedly, she barred the door and he covered all the windows.’
    • ‘The people around were crying their approval, and one of them ran up to the front door and, using his sign, barred the door so that they couldn't escape.’
    • ‘We quickly shut and barred the two doors and the window, and dispatched the three hornets that followed us in.’
    • ‘With a ripple of his deep red sleeve, one of the guards took both her arms, while the other barred the door, allowing Allie to be tied without the ability of escape.’
    bolt, lock, fasten, padlock, secure, latch, deadlock, block, barricade, obstruct
    View synonyms
  • 2Prevent or prohibit (someone) from doing something or from going somewhere.

    ‘journalists had been barred from covering the elections’
    ‘boulders barred her passage’
    • ‘He was barred from school after teachers ruled his hairstyle ‘extreme and unacceptable’.’
    • ‘In 1995, he was barred from treating patients in an exclusive hospital in Jakarta for helping HIV positive people.’
    • ‘The hospital's front gate was closed and a sign said patients and employees were barred from leaving and no items used in the building could be removed.’
    • ‘He was barred from practising by the General Medical Council in July 2000 after 34 out of 35 allegations against him were proven.’
    • ‘He was barred from returning home for weeks and allowed to meet his wife only in September.’
    • ‘As a result he was barred from taking part in the first free practice session on Friday.’
    • ‘She studied languages in Dublin, where she was barred from the student union bar for unspecified ‘bad behaviour’.’
    • ‘He was barred from entering the mainland in April 2001 but was recently informed that the ban had been lifted.’
    • ‘Some people have still memories of the 1980s when people were barred from universities merely for not going to Friday prayers regularly.’
    • ‘A father was barred from his own home and separated from his family for six months after he was spotted smacking his young son during a shopping trip.’
    • ‘Railway passengers are barred from setting foot on the mountainside and walkers who have reached the summit will be denied access to the visitor centre.’
    • ‘Local Democracy week has been branded a sham by Tory councillors after their deputy leader was barred from speaking at a high-level meeting.’
    • ‘He was barred from America last year on ‘security grounds’, although he has never had any links to terrorism.’
    • ‘He was effectively barred from the US as officials there declared the case against him ‘pretty good’.’
    • ‘The 1986 World Cup hero was barred from leaving Argentina after family members blocked his early efforts to return to Cuba.’
    • ‘Visitors were barred from taking bags into the building, metal detectors were installed and police carrying machine guns patrolled the foyer.’
    • ‘Another measure to limit consumption was a return to the ‘carless’ days of the late 1970s when one day a week a vehicle owner was barred from using his or her car.’
    • ‘Complaints that election agents were barred from some polling stations at the end of the election have caused concern within the commission.’
    • ‘He was initially barred from enrolling for a degree in computer science at the University of Maryland due to a technicality, but managed to sign up and complete the course.’
    • ‘He spoke out after two frail and elderly patients were left alone and distressed waiting hours for ambulances to take them home after their wives were barred from travelling with them.’
    prohibit, debar, preclude, forbid, ban, interdict, inhibit
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Forbid (an activity) to someone.
      ‘the job she loved had been barred to her’
      • ‘We just cannot stop modernism from seeping up between the floorboards, so a return to a premodern reading of the Bible is barred to us now.’
      • ‘There is now hardly any sphere of activity legally barred to women and, in this sense, every male bastion has been stormed.’
      • ‘So it can come as a shock to discover that some of these activities can be barred to them as the years slip by.’
      • ‘The professions remained barred to women, but a few succeeded in practising as doctors.’
      • ‘He does not smoke, drink or take drugs, so those recourses would have been barred to him.’
    2. 2.2 Exclude (something) from consideration.
      ‘nothing is barred in the crime novel’
      • ‘These issues are barred from consideration by this Court.’
      • ‘Nothing is barred from consideration as long as it does not obtrude into the lives of others.’
      • ‘In 1984 Congress undercut the exclusionary rule which barred evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment.’
    3. 2.3Law Prevent or delay (an action) by objection.
      • ‘If I were wrong in my conclusion that on the principal claims Mr Shaker had no cause of action, the proceedings would still be barred on the basis that the damages were purely reflective of the company's loss.’
      • ‘The law also sometimes holds that certain types of claim should be barred as contrary to public policy.’
      • ‘For one thing, if she waits, her claim might end up being barred by the statute of limitations.’
      • ‘In any event, any new claim by the company would be barred by limitation as it is well over six years since the events giving rise to any claim.’
      • ‘An action to enforce the award had become barred by limitation by January 1993.’
  • 3Mark (something) with bars or stripes.

    ‘his face was barred with light’
    • ‘The backs and wings of females are finely barred with light and dark brown.’
    • ‘Their faces were barred with stripes of charcoal and ochre.’
    • ‘The upperparts are brown with a black patch streaked with white, and the tail is barred with black.’
    • ‘Its back is speckled with light markings, and its tail is barred with black.’

preposition

British
  • Except for; apart from.

    ‘everyone, bar a few ascetics, thinks it desirable’
    • ‘His comments about our break-in a few days ago are true in all ways bar one.’
    • ‘The Premiership is in danger of becoming as boring as its Scottish equivalent where this year has been the same as the last dozen bar one.’
    • ‘He was the youngest parliamentary candidate in the general election bar one.’
    • ‘The home side were far ahead of their high-flying opponents in every match statistic bar one.’
    • ‘Argue the point all you want, but virtually every modern car, bar the hardest sports models, have understeer dialled in to safeguard the occupants.’
    • ‘He has started every league game bar one.’
    • ‘‘Well that would be nice,’ he replies, enigmatic bar the faint hint of a smile.’
    • ‘He is due to retire at the end of this year, and all parties bar Labour are courting him.’
    • ‘The Trust has funded these activities for all of these past ten years, bar one.’
    • ‘Here, on just four walls, is as good a cross-section of post-war figurative art as you are ever likely to see in any gallery bar the Tate.’
    • ‘Every party on the select committee, bar the Labour Party, opposed the bill.’
    • ‘This is bar a handful of Indian companies that are listed on the US market and shares that have been picked by a specialist fund manager.’
    • ‘This makes him the most important coach in Scottish rugby bar one.’
    except, except for, apart from, but, but for, other than, besides, aside from, with the exception of, short of, barring, excepting, excluding, omitting, leaving out, save, save for, saving
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • bar none

    • With no exceptions.

      ‘the greatest living American poet bar none’
      • ‘In Scotland we have the best golf destinations in the world bar none and all supported by excellent infrastructure and service, something Ireland cannot always offer.’
      • ‘He said it was the best album he's ever heard in his life bar none.’
      • ‘He was the greatest player I ever played with, in any position, bar none.’
      • ‘At the moment he's the team's most consistent performer, bar none.’
      • ‘As far as Jim was concerned, he was the greatest player in the world, bar none.’
      • ‘It appeared in this paper the following week and I think now, as I thought then, that it was one of the finest photographs of the year, bar none.’
      • ‘These small rainswept isles off the western end of the vast Eurasian landmass have contributed far more to the well-being of the rest of humanity than any other country, bar none.’
      • ‘We've got the worst streets in Canada, bar none.’
      • ‘He said: ‘We know we are fighting against a multi-billion pound industry, the biggest industry in the world bar none, but we have to keep believing.’’
      • ‘As of right now, this is the album of the year, bar none.’
  • behind bars

    • In prison.

      • ‘He speaks about his life of crime, his wasted years behind bars and his hopes for the future.’
      • ‘Several former inmates also returned to discuss their experience behind bars.’
      • ‘It should not be the rule of the thumb that any offender has to end up behind bars, whether in a police cell or prison.’
      • ‘He is notorious not for his crimes outside prison, but because of his outrageous behaviour behind bars.’
      • ‘A man was back behind bars only four days after he was released from prison.’
      • ‘He was sentenced to life behind bars for her murder in June this year.’
      • ‘A rapist who went missing after he was released from prison on licence was back behind bars last night.’
      • ‘If you speak out, you can provide the evidence that the police need to put criminals behind bars.’
      • ‘Seventy per cent of prisoners are back behind bars within two years of release.’
      • ‘The judge decided not to send him to jail after hearing he had already served two months behind bars.’
  • lower (or raise or lift) the bar

    • Lower (or raise) the standards which need to be met in order to qualify for something.

      ‘they have drastically lowered the bar for anyone who wants to call themselves a musician’
      • ‘We are confident that next year's rendition of the contest will raise the bar once again.’
      • ‘He insisted that the interpretation that this would ultimately lower the bar was not quite accurate.’
      • ‘Ivan Fischer is the person, once a relationship is cultivated, to raise the bar.’
      • ‘However, with your latest project, you really are raising the bar.’
      • ‘The bill does not lower the bar.’
      • ‘His running mate has just raised the bar.’
      • ‘I think this speech tonight raised the bar for what was already a very significant Republican challenge.’
      • ‘So maybe lowering the bar is a good thing.’
      • ‘This year, the judges said that they raised the bar.’
      • ‘Linkin Park have raised the bar high for hook laden pop metal.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French barre (noun), barrer (verb), of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

bar

/bär//bɑr/

Main definitions of bar in US English:

: bar1bar2

bar2

noun

  • A unit of pressure equivalent to 100,000 newtons per square meter or approximately one atmosphere.

    • ‘In both cars, an electric pump compresses air into the tank at a pressure of 300 bars.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, to the diver, it still affords a fascinating glimpse of another world - a world so incredibly shallow that it is difficult to surface without at least a hundred bars.’
    • ‘105 bars confining pressure was applied to prevent leakage in between the cylindrical face and the membrane.’
    • ‘Seals were water-tight even at pressures of several bars, but did not interrupt water flow in the xylem.’

Origin

Early 20th century: from Greek baros ‘weight’.

Pronunciation

bar

/bär//bɑr/