[ fen-sing ]
/ ˈfɛn sɪŋ /


the art, practice, or sport in which an épée, foil, or saber is used for defense and attack.
a parrying of arguments; avoidance of direct answers: political fencing on important issues.
an enclosure or railing.
fences collectively.
material for fences.

Origin of fencing

1425–75; late Middle English fensing safeguarding, maintenance. See fence, -ing1

Definition for fencing (2 of 2)


[ fens ]
/ fɛns /


verb (used with object), fenced, fenc·ing.

verb (used without object), fenced, fenc·ing.

Origin of fence

1300–50; Middle English fens, aphetic for defens defense

Related forms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fencing

British Dictionary definitions for fencing (1 of 2)


/ (ˈfɛnsɪŋ) /


the practice, art, or sport of fighting with swords, esp the sport of using foils, épées, or sabres under a set of rules to score points
  1. wire, stakes, etc, used as fences
  2. fences collectively
skilful or witty debate
the avoidance of direct answers; evasiveness
slang the business of buying and selling stolen property

British Dictionary definitions for fencing (2 of 2)


/ (fɛns) /



Derived Forms

fenceless, adjectivefencelike, adjective

Word Origin for fence

C14 fens, shortened from defens defence
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

Idioms and Phrases with fencing


In addition to the idioms beginning with fence

  • fence in
  • fence with

also see:

  • mend one's fences
  • on the fence
  • straddle the fence
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.