• synonyms


[buh-rahzh; especially British bar-ahzh for 1, 2, 4, 5; bahr-ij for 3]
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  1. Military. a heavy barrier of artillery fire to protect one's own advancing or retreating troops or to stop the advance of enemy troops.
  2. an overwhelming quantity or explosion, as of words, blows, or criticisms: a barrage of questions.
  3. Civil Engineering. an artificial obstruction in a watercourse to increase the depth of the water, facilitate irrigation, etc.
  4. Mycology. an aversion response of sexually incompatible fungus cultures that are growing in proximity, revealed by a persistent growth gap between them.
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verb (used with object), bar·raged, bar·rag·ing.
  1. to subject to a barrage.
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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


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for barrage


  1. military the firing of artillery to saturate an area, either to protect against an attack or to support an advance
  2. an overwhelming and continuous delivery of something, as words, questions, or punches
  3. 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
  4. fencing a heat or series of bouts in a competition
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  1. (tr) to attack or confront with a barragethe speaker was barraged with abuse
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Word Origin

C19: from French, from barrer to obstruct; see bar 1
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 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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper