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barn1

[bahrn]
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noun
  1. a building for storing hay, grain, etc., and often for housing livestock.
  2. a very large garage for buses, trucks, etc.; carbarn.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to store (hay, grain, etc.) in a barn.
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Origin of barn1

before 950; Middle English bern, Old English berern (bere (see barley1) + ern, ǣrn house, cognate with Old Frisian fīaern cowhouse, Old High German erin, Gothic razn, Old Norse rann house; cf. ransack, rest1)
Related formsbarn·like, adjective

barn2

[bahrn]
noun Physics.
  1. a unit of nuclear cross section, equal to 10−24 square centimeter. Abbreviation: b
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Origin of barn2

First recorded in 1945–50; special use of barn1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for barn

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Then it's better to take him out back of the barn and shoot him, by Gad!

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • And Will smiled back his gratification as they started for the barn.

  • "I'll do all I can," K. promised, and followed the path to the barn.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • Lights blazed in every window; a dozen automobiles were parked before the barn.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • When, five minutes later, she beckoned him from the door of the barn, her eyes were red.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart


British Dictionary definitions for barn

barn1

noun
  1. a large farm outbuilding, used chiefly for storing hay, grain, etc, but also for housing livestock
  2. US and Canadian a large shed for sheltering railroad cars, trucks, etc
  3. any large building, esp an unattractive one
  4. (modifier) relating to a system of poultry farming in which birds are allowed to move freely within a barnbarn eggs
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Word Origin

Old English beren, from bere barley + ærn room; see barley 1

barn2

noun
  1. a unit of nuclear cross section equal to 10 28 square metreSymbol: b
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Word Origin

C20: from barn 1; so called because of the relatively large cross section
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

Word Origin and History for barn

n.

Old English bereærn "barn," literally "barley house," from bere "barley" (see barley) + aern "house," metathesized from *rann, *rasn (cf. Old Norse rann, Gothic razn "house," Old English rest "resting place;" sealtærn "saltworks").

Barley was not always the only crop grown as the data recovered at Bishopstone might suggest but it is always the most commonly represented, followed by wheat and then rye and oats. [C.J. Arnold, "An Archaeology of the Early Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms," 1988, p.36]

Another word for "barn" in Old English was beretun, "barley enclosure" (from tun "enclosure, house"), which accounts for the many Barton place names on the English map, and the common surname. Barn door used figuratively for "broad target" and "great size" since 1540s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with barn

barn

see can't hit the broad side of a barn; lock the barn door after the horse is stolen.

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