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[buh-rahzh; especially British bar-ahzh for 1, 2, 4, 5; bahr-ij for 3] /bəˈrɑʒ; especially British ˈbær ɑʒ for 1, 2, 4, 5; ˈbɑr ɪdʒ for 3/
Military. a heavy barrier of artillery fire to protect one's own advancing or retreating troops or to stop the advance of enemy troops.
an overwhelming quantity or explosion, as of words, blows, or criticisms:
a barrage of questions.
Civil Engineering. an artificial obstruction in a watercourse to increase the depth of the water, facilitate irrigation, etc.
Mycology. an aversion response of sexually incompatible fungus cultures that are growing in proximity, revealed by a persistent growth gap between them.
verb (used with object), barraged, barraging.
to subject to a barrage.
Origin of barrage
1855-60; < French: blocking, barring off, barrier, equivalent to barr(er) to bar1 + -age -age; artillery sense by ellipsis from French tir de barrage barrier fire
2. volley, torrent, deluge, burst, storm. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for barrage
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the meantime we got through the barrage all right, though we lost some of our men.

    Into the Jaws of Death Jack O'Brien
  • Meanwhile our entire front was advancing, following the barrage waves.

    The Greater Love George T. McCarthy
  • Their previous training had been to follow a barrage which moved forward by bounds of a hundred yards.

  • If the end were in sight, why this terrific eleventh hour barrage?

    The Greater Love George T. McCarthy
  • The first two tanks, escaping the barrage, lurched on towards Poelcapelle.

    A Company of Tanks W. H. L. Watson
British Dictionary definitions for barrage


(military) the firing of artillery to saturate an area, either to protect against an attack or to support an advance
an overwhelming and continuous delivery of something, as words, questions, or punches
a usually gated construction, similar to a low dam, across a watercourse, esp one to increase the depth of water to assist navigation or irrigation
(fencing) a heat or series of bouts in a competition
(transitive) to attack or confront with a barrage: the speaker was barraged with abuse
Word Origin
C19: from French, from barrer to obstruct; see bar1
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
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Word Origin and History for barrage

1859, "action of barring; man-made barrier in a stream," from French barrer "to stop," from barre "bar," from Old French barre (see bar (n.1)). Artillery sense is 1916, from World War I French phrase tir de barrage "barrier fire" intended to isolate the objective. As a verb by 1917. Related: Barraged; barraging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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