- having barbs.
- calculated to wound; cutting: a professor noted for his barbed criticisms.
Origin of barbed
- a point or pointed part projecting backward from a main point, as of a fishhook or arrowhead.
- an obviously or openly unpleasant or carping remark.
- Botany, Zoology. a hooked or sharp bristle.
- Ornithology. one of the processes attached to the rachis of a feather.
- one of a breed of domestic pigeons, similar to the carriers or homers, having a short, broad bill.
- any of numerous, small, Old World cyprinid fishes of the genera Barbus and Puntius, often kept in aquariums.
- Usually barbs. Veterinary Pathology. a small protuberance under the tongue in horses and cattle, especially when inflamed and swollen.
- Also barbe. a linen covering for the throat and breast, formerly worn by women mourners and now only by some nuns.
- Obsolete. a beard.
- to furnish with a barb or barbs.
Origin of barb1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for barb on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for barbed
So perhaps the barbed wire and the machinations of the plot did duty for other obstacles that stood between myself and freedom.The Stacks: How The Berlin Wall Inspired John le Carré’s First Masterpiece
John le Carré
November 8, 2014
Click here to see a photo of Galbraith and Fairchild posing in front of barbed wire that marked off mines in the zone.Morgan Fairchild: Badass Foreign Policy Wonk
October 20, 2014
Two parallel fences tipped with barbed wire formed a narrow corridor into the gymnasium.The GOP’s Last Identity Crisis Remade U.S. Politics
July 24, 2014
Even after she left its barbed bosom, it did its best to further excommunicate and sideline her.
These days, the vast majority of coalition forces work within the walls, guard towers, and barbed wire of their bases.How I’ll End the War: Making Collage Art With Afghan Students
May 29, 2014
The injustice of it was like a barbed and poisoned arrow in his heart.A Spirit in Prison
Why should you put up all this barbed wire between yourself and your friends?The Market-Place
Lines of trenches and coils of barbed wire arrest your attention.War Letters of a Public-School Boy
Where is that armor of distrust in which you were to resist the barbed arrow of the enchantress?One Of Them
Charles James Lever
That same book,—how it rankled, like a barbed arrow, in his side!Tony Butler
Charles James Lever
- a subsidiary point facing in the opposite direction to the main point of a fish-hook, harpoon, arrow, etc, intended to make extraction difficult
- any of various pointed parts, as on barbed wire
- a cutting remark; gibe
- any of the numerous hairlike filaments that form the vane of a feather
- a beardlike growth in certain animals
- a hooked hair or projection on certain fruits
- any small cyprinid fish of the genus Barbus (or Puntius) and related genera, such as B. conchonius (rosy barb)
- (usually plural) any of the small fleshy protuberances beneath the tongue in horses and cattle
- a white linen cloth forming part of a headdress extending from the chin to the upper chest, originally worn by women in the Middle Ages, now worn by nuns of some orders
- obsolete a beard
- (tr) to provide with a barb or barbs
- a breed of horse of North African origin, similar to the Arab but less spirited
- Australian a black kelpieSee kelpie 1
- Broadcasters' Audience Research Board
Word Origin and History for barbed
late 15c., "to clip, mow;" see barb (n.). Meaning "to fit or furnish with barbs" is from 1610s. Related: Barbed; barbing.
late 14c., "barb of an arrow," from Old French barbe (11c.) "beard, beardlike appendage," from Latin barba "beard," perhaps cognate with Old English beard (see beard (n.)).
- A sharp point projecting backward, as on the stinger of a bee.
- One of the hairlike branches on the shaft of a feather.