[ bahr ]
See synonyms for bar on
  1. a relatively long, evenly shaped piece of some solid substance, as metal or wood, used as a guard or obstruction or for some mechanical purpose: the bars of a cage.

  2. an oblong piece of any solid material: a bar of soap;a candy bar.

  1. the amount of material in a bar.

  2. an ingot, lump, or wedge of gold or silver.

  3. a long ridge of sand, gravel, or other material near or slightly above the surface of the water at or near the mouth of a river or harbor entrance, often constituting an obstruction to navigation.

  4. anything that obstructs, hinders, or impedes; obstacle; barrier: a bar to important legislation.

  5. a counter or place where beverages, especially liquors, or light meals are served to customers: a snack bar;a milk bar.

  6. a barroom or tavern.

  7. (in a home) a counter, small wagon, or similar piece of furniture for serving food or beverages: a breakfast bar.

  8. the legal profession.

  9. the practicing members of the legal profession in a given community.

  10. any tribunal: the bar of public opinion.

  11. a band or strip: a bar of light.

  12. a railing in a courtroom separating the general public from the part of the room occupied by the judges, jury, attorneys, etc.

  13. Music.

    • Also called bar line . the line marking the division between two measures of music.

    • the unit of music contained between two bar lines; measure.

  14. Ballet. barre.

  15. Law.

    • an objection that nullifies an action or claim.

    • a stoppage or defeat of an alleged right of action.

  16. Typography. a horizontal stroke of a type character, as of an A, H, t, and sometimes e.

  17. Architecture. (in tracery) a relatively long and slender upright of stone treated as a colonette or molded.

  18. Building Trades.

    • an iron or steel shape: I-bar.

    • a muntin.

  19. Military. one of a pair of metal or cloth insignia worn by certain commissioned officers.

  20. bars, the transverse ridges on the roof of the mouth of a horse.

  21. a space between the molar and canine teeth of a horse into which the bit is fitted.

  22. (in a bridle) the mouthpiece connecting the cheeks.

  23. Heraldry. a horizontal band, narrower than a fess, that crosses the field of an escutcheon.

  24. Obsolete. a gateway capable of being barred.

verb (used with object),barred, bar·ring.
  1. to equip or fasten with a bar or bars: Bar the door before retiring for the night.

  2. to block by or as if by bars: The police barred the exits in an attempt to prevent the thief's escape.

  1. to prevent or hinder: They barred her entrance to the club.

  2. to exclude or except: He was barred from membership because of his reputation.

  3. to mark with bars, stripes, or bands.

  1. except; omitting; but: bar none.

Idioms about bar

  1. at bar, Law.

    • before the court and being tried: a case at bar.

    • before all the judges of a court: a trial at bar.

  2. behind bars, in jail: We wanted the criminal behind bars.

Origin of bar

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English barre, barr, bar, from Old French, from unattested Vulgar Latin barra “rod,” of obscure, perhaps pre-Latin, origin

synonym study For bar

6. Bar, barrier, barricade mean something put in the way of advance. Bar has the general meaning of hindrance or obstruction: a bar across the doorway. Barrier suggests an impediment to progress or a defensive obstruction (natural or artificial): a trade barrier; a mountain barrier; a road barrier. A barricade is especially a pile of articles hastily gathered or a rude earthwork for protection in street fighting: a barricade of wooden boxes.

Other words for bar

Other words from bar

  • barless, adjective
  • bar·ra·ble, adjective
  • un·bar·ra·ble, adjective

Words Nearby bar

Other definitions for bar (2 of 7)

[ bahr ]

Origin of bar

First recorded in 1770–80; from Louisiana French bère, baire, apparently representing dialect pronunciation of French barre “barrier, rod”; see bar1

Other definitions for bar (3 of 7)

[ bahr ]

  1. a centimeter-gram-second unit of pressure, equal to one million dynes per square centimeter.

  2. (formerly) microbar. Abbreviation: b

Origin of bar

First recorded in 1900–05; from Greek báros “weight”; cf. barometer, isobar

Other definitions for BAR (4 of 7)


Other definitions for bar. (5 of 7)


  1. barometer.

  2. barometric.

  1. barrel.

  2. barrister.

Other definitions for Bar. (6 of 7)


  1. Baruch.

Other definitions for B.Ar. (7 of 7)


  1. Bachelor of Architecture. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use bar in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for bar (1 of 7)


/ (bɑː) /

  1. a rigid usually straight length of metal, wood, etc, that is longer than it is wide or thick, used esp as a barrier or as a structural or mechanical part: a bar of a gate

  2. a solid usually rectangular block of any material: a bar of soap

  1. anything that obstructs or prevents

    • an offshore ridge of sand, mud, or shingle lying near the shore and parallel to it, across the mouth of a river, bay, or harbour, or linking an island to the mainland

    • US and Canadian an alluvial deposit in a stream, river, or lake

  2. a counter or room where alcoholic drinks are served

  3. a counter, room, or establishment where a particular range of goods, food, services, etc, are sold: a coffee bar; a heel bar

  4. a narrow band or stripe, as of colour or light

  5. a heating element in an electric fire

  6. (in England) the area in a court of law separating the part reserved for the bench and Queen's Counsel from the area occupied by junior barristers, solicitors, and the general public: See also Bar

  7. the place in a court of law where the accused stands during his trial: the prisoner at the bar

  8. a particular court of law

  9. British (in the House of Lords and House of Commons) the boundary where nonmembers wishing to address either House appear and where persons are arraigned

  10. a plea showing that a plaintiff has no cause of action, as when the case has already been adjudicated upon or the time allowed for bringing the action has passed

  11. anything referred to as an authority or tribunal: the bar of decency

  12. Also called: measure music

    • a group of beats that is repeated with a consistent rhythm throughout a piece or passage of music. The number of beats in the bar is indicated by the time signature

    • another word for bar line

    • British insignia added to a decoration indicating a second award

    • US a strip of metal worn with uniform, esp to signify rank or as an award for service

  13. a variant spelling of barre

  14. sport See crossbar

  15. gymnastics See horizontal bar

    • part of the metal mouthpiece of a horse's bridle

    • the space between the horse's teeth in which such a part fits

  16. either of two horny extensions that project forwards and inwards from the rear of the outer layer of a horse's hoof

  17. lacemaking needlework another name for bride 2

  18. heraldry an ordinary consisting of a horizontal line across a shield, typically narrower than a fesse, and usually appearing in twos or threes

  19. maths a superscript line ⁻ placed over a letter symbol to indicate, for example, a mean value or the complex conjugate of a complex number

  20. behind bars in prison

  21. won't have a bar of or wouldn't have a bar of Australian and NZ informal cannot tolerate; dislike

verbbars, barring or barred (tr)
  1. to fasten or secure with a bar: to bar the door

  2. to shut in or out with or as if with barriers: to bar the entrances

  1. to obstruct; hinder: the fallen tree barred the road

  2. (usually foll by from) to prohibit; forbid: to bar a couple from meeting

  3. (usually foll by from) to keep out; exclude: to bar a person from membership

  4. to mark with a bar or bars

  5. law to prevent or halt (an action) by showing that the claimant has no cause

  6. to mark off (music) into bars with bar lines

  1. except for: the best recital bar last night's

  2. bar none without exception

Origin of bar

C12: from Old French barre, from Vulgar Latin barra (unattested) bar, rod, of unknown origin

British Dictionary definitions for bar (2 of 7)


/ (bɑː) /

  1. a cgs unit of pressure equal to 10 6 dynes per square centimetre. 1 bar is equivalent to 10 5 newtons per square metre

Origin of bar

C20: from Greek baros weight

British Dictionary definitions for bar (3 of 7)


/ (bɑː) Southwest English dialect /

  1. immunity from being caught or otherwise penalized in a game

  1. a cry for such immunity

Origin of bar

variant of barley ²

British Dictionary definitions for Bar (4 of 7)


/ (bɑː) /

nounthe Bar
  1. (in England and elsewhere) barristers collectively

  2. US the legal profession collectively

  1. be called to the Bar British to become a barrister

  2. be called within the Bar British to be appointed as a Queen's Counsel

British Dictionary definitions for BAR (5 of 7)


abbreviation for
  1. Browning Automatic Rifle

British Dictionary definitions for Bar- (6 of 7)


/ (bar, bɑː) /

  1. (before Jewish patronymic names) son of: Bar-Kochba

British Dictionary definitions for bar. (7 of 7)


abbreviation for
  1. barometer

  2. barometric

  1. barrel (container or unit of measure)

  2. barrister

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

Scientific definitions for bar


[ bär ]

  1. A unit used to measure atmospheric pressure. It is equal to a force of 100,000 newtons per square meter of surface area, or 0.987 atmosphere.

  2. An elongated, offshore ridge of sand, gravel, or other unconsolidated sediment, formed by the action of waves or long-shore currents and submerged at least during high tide. Bars are especially common near the mouths of rivers or estuaries.

  1. A ridgelike mound of sand, gravel or silt formed within a stream, along its banks, or at its mouth. Bars form where the stream's current slows down, causing sediment to be deposited.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with bar


In addition to the idiom beginning with bar

  • bare bones
  • bare hands, with one's
  • bare necessities
  • bare one's soul
  • bare one's teeth
  • barge in
  • bar none

also see:

  • behind bars
  • no holds barred

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.