[bahr-ee-oh, bar-; Spanish bahr-ryaw]

noun, plural bar·ri·os [bahr-ee-ohz, bar-; Spanish bahr-ryaws] /ˈbɑr iˌoʊz, ˈbær-; Spanish ˈbɑr ryɔs/.

(in Spain and countries colonized by Spain) one of the divisions into which a town or city, together with the contiguous rural territory, is divided.
a part of a large U.S. city, especially a crowded inner-city area, inhabited chiefly by a Spanish-speaking population.

Nearby words

  1. barrier island,
  2. barrier of ideas,
  3. barrier-nurse,
  4. barring,
  5. barrington,
  6. barrios,
  7. barrios, justo rufino,
  8. barrister,
  9. barrister and solicitor,
  10. barristerial

Origin of barrio

1890–95; < Spanish < Arabic barrī of open country (barr outside, open country + adj. suffix) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for barrio

British Dictionary definitions for barrio


noun plural -rios

a Spanish-speaking quarter in a town or city, esp in the US
a Spanish-speaking community

Word Origin for barrio

from Spanish, from Arabic barrī of open country, from barr open country

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 barrio



1841, "ward of a Spanish or Spanish-speaking city," sometimes also used of rural settlements, from Spanish barrio "district, suburb," from Arabic barriya "open country" (fem.), from barr "outside" (of the city). Main modern sense of "Spanish-speaking district in a U.S. city" is 1939; original reference is to Spanish Harlem in New York City.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper