Definition of barricade in US English:



  • An improvised barrier erected across a street or other thoroughfare to prevent or delay the movement of opposing forces.

    • ‘The jobless workers have threatened to set up barricades to prevent movement in and out of the refineries.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, in the town of Leeds, police erect barricades and evacuate residents in a search for more clues.’
    • ‘On a major thoroughfare, a barricade constructed of burning tyres sent a wall of thick, black smoke along the street.’
    • ‘Huge concrete and steel barricades were erected to prevent demonstrators from getting anywhere near the venue, while surrounding streets were completely blocked off.’
    • ‘Word got through the village that the guy had been taken, and the entire village went out into the street and erected a barricade.’
    • ‘Most of the barricades erected by militant supporters of Aristide were removed and streets were empty.’
    • ‘Impromptu barricades were erected from urban junk in order to protect the crowd trying to evacuate the area.’
    • ‘Management had previously tried to remove its machinery during the night of July 15, but was prevented from doing so by barricades erected by workers.’
    • ‘When several protesters managed to scale barricades and force their way into the lobby, police responded with a blanket of pepper-spray and quickly arrested nearly a dozen protesters.’
    • ‘There were similar protests across the world, including Berlin, where bonfires were lit on the streets and barricades erected to fend off police.’
    • ‘At sunrise, a large crowd advances toward wooden barricades erected to protect storefronts and bystanders.’
    • ‘Those who erected barricades were more intent on securing the sympathy of opposition politicians for immediate objectives than taking charge of government.’
    • ‘The following day, militiamen of Sadr's Mahdi Army attempted to seal off the densely populated suburb with barricades to prevent US forces entering again.’
    • ‘In some neighbourhoods, residents erected street barricades of tiles, huge rocks and sandbags to keep looters out.’
    • ‘The bill also grants the army authority to enter buildings without a warrant, cordon off areas, erect barricades and stop vehicles to search them without a warrant.’
    • ‘The enemy evidently knew of the their arrival time and place, erected some kind of barricades, and were in position to ambush the convoys.’
    • ‘Voters in Baghdad will have to reach the polls on foot because barricades set up to prevent attacks on the polls and car-bombs also block peaceful traffic.’
    • ‘Security forces intervened when youths threw burning tyres into the streets and tried to erect barricades.’
    • ‘During the night, about 500 protesters erected barricades, set fires and threw rocks and bottles at police, who responded with water cannon.’
    • ‘As with any structure, only vigilance, guards, and barricades could prevent such attacks.’
    barrier, obstacle, blockade, bar, fence, obstruction, roadblock, bulwark, stockade, rampart, palisade, hurdle, protection, defence
    View synonyms


[with object]
  • 1Block or defend with an improvised barrier.

    ‘he barricaded the door with a bureau’
    ‘the heavily barricaded streets’
    • ‘Staff at Darwen's M65 services had to barricade themselves behind closed doors during a ‘nightmare’ evening of trouble.’
    • ‘‘Dude, we have to barricade the door,’ I said while breathing heavily.’
    • ‘I went back into the building and barricaded the door with a vending machine.’
    • ‘The corridor leading to the underground rail system was heavily barricaded and manned by starguards while others stood guard around the room.’
    • ‘But Baghdad's streets are barricaded, armed and patrolled by vigilantes.’
    • ‘Imagine the troopers being forced to retreat into a vacant building and barricading the door because the anger and strength of the mob had reached a fever pitch.’
    • ‘Despite This Day withdrawing the article and apologising, protestors burned down their offices, barricaded the streets with burning tyres, and began looting and burning homes and businesses.’
    • ‘Some time in 1891, police barricaded a quiet street in Handsworth and raided the home of a Mr Cavargna, a soft-spoken insurance agent, aged 55.’
    • ‘Below Houston, each street into Soho was barricaded and manned by huddles of cops.’
    • ‘But police blocked the protesters, barricading the minister's Sydney home.’
    • ‘In the first major court case involving the Class A drug in the city for years, Geraldine Kelly, prosecuting, said the building in Cromer Street had been barricaded.’
    • ‘The march quickly fell apart, not even making it to the heavily barricaded convention centre where delegates were staying.’
    • ‘The door wasn't locked; it was heavily barricaded.’
    • ‘As the block-long pens filled up, police barricaded the blocks leading into the avenue, forcing those trying to join the protest to walk further and further north just to reach it.’
    • ‘If their demands are not addressed the teachers plan to protest by barricading streets and marching across the country.’
    • ‘We fought furiously, and managed to drive them outside, and were about to barricade the door, when the entire building shook, and a loud explosion was heard.’
    • ‘Those doors are deliberately barricaded before murderers set fire to the building.’
    • ‘All the streets south of 14th Street have been barricaded off and are being guarded by state policemen.’
    • ‘Streets have been barricaded with burning tyres and at least one Iraqi has been wounded, although it is unclear how this happened.’
    • ‘Police barricaded the streets in front of the courthouse.’
    blockade, obstruct, close up, bar, block off, shut in, shut off, fence in, seal up, defend, protect, fortify, strengthen
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Shut (oneself or someone) into a place by blocking all the entrances.
      ‘detainees who barricaded themselves into their dormitory’
      • ‘In Caketown, these include a brittle suburbanite Bruce calls The Matriarch, who has barricaded herself into her house out of fear of a deadly airborne virus.’
      • ‘An armed robber stormed into a high street bank and made off with £1, 600 while police barricaded the building, wrongly believing he was still inside.’
      • ‘In another instance, a family with young children was barricaded into a room while a gang ransacked the house.’
      • ‘Soldiers used Humvees to barricade the building.’
      • ‘There was heavy fighting in Nanning, where our people were barricaded in an old district of the city, with no more than a hundred rifles between us.’
      • ‘The SQ swat teams are called to Kuujjuaraapik after an armed man barricades himself in a building for more than 12 hours.’
      • ‘They barricaded her in with their trolleys so she couldn't escape.’
      • ‘There was mayhem going on on the road outside as the road repair men did their best to barricade us all in whilst they patched our holes.’
      • ‘When the police arrived he then decided to become violent and barricaded himself into the flat.’
      • ‘Mrs Kernan, a widow and his official carer, said she had barricaded him in his bedroom before summoning relatives.’
      • ‘I understand that she was almost barricaded into her home based upon perceived fear by [the patient] that she would be victimised or harassed.’
      • ‘The court heard that, once inside, the defendant shut the front door, barricaded himself in, said he had a 12 bore shotgun and threatened to kill everyone there if they tried to enter.’
      • ‘Over time, all the couples move towards the same corner where the women barricade their men.’
      • ‘They will definitely sign something saying that they will follow the law, and they will not barricade the boy or take him away or anything of this nature.’
      • ‘And last year a 20-year-old remand prisoner was found hanged, while rioting prisoners barricaded themselves into a cell in August.’
      • ‘Beckett had complained that he was barricaded into his home by an RUC Landrover which parked against his front door.’
      • ‘Startled, Tobias misfired, and the arrow struck one of the stalactites that were barricading him in, rebounding off of it.’
      • ‘It really barricaded me into the closet for a longer time than I should have been.’
      • ‘At Walthamstow High School for Girls the headmistress called in the police to barricade the young women in the school with police vans.’
      • ‘He requested that the building be barricaded and patrolled hourly by local gardaí.’


Late 16th century: from French, from barrique ‘cask’, from Spanish barrica; related to barrel (barrels often being used to build barricades).