Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[bahr-ber-shop] /ˈbɑr bərˌʃɒp/
Also called, especially British, barber's shop. the place of business of a barber.
the singing of four-part harmony in barbershop style or the music sung in this style.
specializing in the unaccompanied part-singing of popular songs in which four voices move in close, highly chromatic harmony:
a barbershop quartet.
characteristic of such part-singing.
Origin of barbershop
First recorded in 1570-80; barber + shop Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for barber-shop
Historical Examples
  • "And then to a barber-shop with him," went on Mrs. Effie, who had paid no heed to his outburst.

    Ruggles of Red Gap Harry Leon Wilson
  • Right abreast the post-office; Henry Cahoon has been usin' it for a barber-shop.

    Thankful's Inheritance Joseph C. Lincoln
  • From this he had risen one step and become porter and messenger in a barber-shop.

    The heart of happy hollow Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • I saw a barber-shop with chairs, niches for the soap and mugs, and the waiting sofa.

    Reminiscences Hans Mattson
  • He resolved to be on the lookout that day for a barber-shop set.

    Merton of the Movies Harry Leon Wilson
  • "That's Villars's Dutch boy," said one of the smokers in the barber-shop.

    Cudjo's Cave J. T. Trowbridge
  • You'll find a barber-shop and a bootblack around the corner.

  • His hair is always as spick and span as if he'd just come out of the barber-shop.

  • It was some time since Mr. Tucker and I had seen a barber-shop.

    Inca Land Hiram Bingham
  • As I paused at the door of the hotel Potts emerged from the barber-shop.

    The Boss of Little Arcady Harry Leon Wilson
British Dictionary definitions for barber-shop


(mainly US) the premises of a barber
(modifier) denoting or characterized by a type of close four-part harmony for male voices, popular in romantic and sentimental songs of the 1920s and 1930s: a barbershop quartet
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for barber-shop

1570s, from barber + shop (n.). Earlier in same sense was barbery (c.1500). Barber-shop in reference to close harmony male vocal quartets, it is attested from 1910; the custom of barber's keeping a musical instrument in their shops so waiting customers could entertain themselves is an old one, but the musical product had a low reputation and barber's music (c.1660) was "wretched, poorly performed music."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for barbershop

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for barber

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for barber-shop