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barrier island

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noun

a broadened barrier beach, habitable in places, that provides a measure of protection for the mainland, as during hurricanes and tidal waves.

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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Scientific definitions for barrier island

barrier island
[ bărē-ər ]

A long, narrow sand island that is parallel to the mainland and serves to protect the coast from erosion. Barrier islands typically have dunes along the exposed outer side, zones of vegetation in the interior, and swampy areas along the inner lagoon.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for barrier island

barrier island

Any low sandy island that is parallel to the mainland and protects it from storms. (See Cape Hatteras.)

notes for barrier island

Barrier islands normally change location every ten to thirty years, a fact that makes coastline management a major problem in environmental policy.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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