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[bahr-ee-oh, bar-; Spanish bahr-ryaw] /ˈbɑr iˌoʊ, ˈbær-; Spanish ˈbɑr ryɔ/
noun, plural barrios
[bahr-ee-ohz, bar-; Spanish bahr-ryaws] /ˈbɑr iˌoʊz, ˈbær-; Spanish ˈbɑr ryɔs/ (Show IPA)
(in Spain and countries colonized by Spain) one of the divisions into which a town or city, together with the contiguous rural territory, is divided.
a part of a large U.S. city, especially a crowded inner-city area, inhabited chiefly by a Spanish-speaking population.
Origin of barrio
1890-95; < Spanish < Arabic barrī of open country (barr outside, open country + adj. suffix) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for barrio
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There was great feasting and celebration in the barrio that night.

  • Yet the inhabitants of this barrio are quite contented and fairly comfortable.

    Wanderings in the Orient Albert M. Reese
  • He received $100 per month, and had charge of the police in his barrio, or precinct.

    Industrial Cuba Robert P. Porter
  • They had reached the barrio where the meeting was to be held.

    The Golden Skull John Blaine
  • Their community lay between the Parian and the barrio of Laguio.

    A History of the Philippines David P. Barrows
  • He became a capitan,2 and was greatly honored by the inhabitants of his barrio.

    Filipino Popular Tales Dean S. Fansler
  • After he has found a barrio that suits him, he buys a house, a carabao, and a cart.

    Filipino Popular Tales Dean S. Fansler
  • Mr barrio has also, whilst I am correcting my proofs, delighted London with a servant who knows more than his masters.

    Man And Superman George Bernard Shaw
British Dictionary definitions for barrio


/ˈbærɪəʊ; Spanish ˈbarrjo/
noun (pl) -rios
a Spanish-speaking quarter in a town or city, esp in the US
a Spanish-speaking community
Word Origin
from Spanish, from Arabic barrī of open country, from barr open country
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 barrio

1841, "ward of a Spanish or Spanish-speaking city," sometimes also used of rural settlements, from Spanish barrio "district, suburb," from Arabic barriya "open country" (fem.), from barr "outside" (of the city). Main modern sense of "Spanish-speaking district in a U.S. city" is 1939; original reference is to Spanish Harlem in New York City.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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