fence


fence
fencelike, adj.
/fens/, n., v., fenced, fencing.
n.
1. a barrier enclosing or bordering a field, yard, etc., usually made of posts and wire or wood, used to prevent entrance, to confine, or to mark a boundary.
2. Informal. a person who receives and disposes of stolen goods.
3. the place of business of such a person.
4. the act, practice, art, or sport of fencing.
5. skill in argument, repartee, etc.
6. Mach. a guard or guide, as for regulating the movements of a tool or work.
7. Carpentry. a slotted guide used esp. with a framing square to lay out cuts on rafters and staircase strings.
8. Archaic. a means of defense; a bulwark.
9. mend one's fences, to strengthen or reestablish one's position by conciliation or negotiation: One could tell by his superficially deferential manner that he was trying to mend his fences.
10. on the fence, uncommitted; neutral; undecided: The party leaders are still on the fence.
v.t.
11. to enclose by some barrier, establishing exclusive right to possession: to fence a farm.
12. to separate by or as by a fence or fences (often fol. by in, off, out, etc.): to fence off a corner of one's yard; to fence out unwholesome influences.
13. to defend; protect; guard: The president was fenced by bodyguards wherever he went.
14. to ward off; keep out.
15. Informal. to sell (stolen goods) to a fence.
16. Naut. to reinforce (an opening in a sail or the like) by sewing on a grommet or other device.
v.i.
17. to practice the art or sport of fencing.
18. to parry arguments; strive to avoid giving direct answers; hedge: The mayor fenced when asked if he would run again.
19. (of a horse) to leap over a fence.
20. Obs. to raise a defense.
[1300-50; ME fens, aph. for defens DEFENSE]

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      barrier erected to confine or exclude people or animals, to define boundaries, or to decorate. Timber, earth, stone, and metal are widely used for fencing. Fences of living plants have been made in many places, such as the hedges of Great Britain and continental Europe and the cactus fences of Latin America. In well-timbered country, such as colonial and 19th-century North America, many patterns of timber fence were developed, such as the split rail laid zigzag, the post rail, and the picket. On the East European Plain and in the western United States, fences of turf were erected that often stood for years in the absence of heavy rains.

      Wire, the preeminent modern fencing material, was first used in the mid-19th century, with the development of methods of mass production. Woven wire fences, affixed to wood, steel, or concrete posts, proved economical and durable (wood posts may be treated with preservative). The invention of the barbed-wire (barbed wire) fence in the 1860s and of a machine for its manufacture in 1874 made possible effective fencing of cattle range (see barbed wire).

      Electrified fences, frequently a single strand of barbed wire, are sometimes used for temporary confinement of animals. A mild shock is given to the animal at intervals of a few seconds if it is in contact with the fence.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fence — (f[e^]ns), n. [Abbrev. from defence.] 1. That which fends off attack or danger; a defense; a protection; a cover; security; shield. [1913 Webster] Let us be backed with God and with the seas, Which he hath given for fence impregnable. Shak. [1913 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fence — 1 n 1: a barrier intended to prevent escape or intrusion or to mark a boundary 2 a: a receiver of stolen goods b: a place where stolen goods are bought fence 2 vt fenced, fenc·ing 1 a: to enclose with a fence …   Law dictionary

  • Fence — Fence, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Fenced} (f[e^]nst); p. pr. & vb. n. {Fencing} (f[e^]n s[i^]ng).] 1. To fend off danger from; to give security to; to protect; to guard. [1913 Webster] To fence my ear against thy sorceries. Milton. [1913 Webster] 2. To …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Fence — Fence, v. i. 1. To make a defense; to guard one s self of anything, as against an attack; to give protection or security, as by a fence. [1913 Webster] Vice is the more stubborn as well as the more dangerous evil, and therefore, in the first… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fence — fence; fence·less; fence·row; fence·less·ness; of·fence; …   English syllables

  • fence — [fens] n. [ME fens, aphetic for defens, DEFENSE] 1. Obs. a protection; defense 2. a barrier, as of wooden or metal posts, rails, wire mesh, etc., used as a boundary or means of protection or confinement 3. the art of self defense with foil, saber …   English World dictionary

  • fence — ► NOUN 1) a barrier enclosing an area, typically consisting of posts connected by wire, wood, etc. 2) a large upright obstacle in steeplechasing, showjumping, or cross country. 3) informal a dealer in stolen goods. 4) a guard or guide on a plane… …   English terms dictionary

  • fence — [n] barrier used to enclose a piece of land backstop, balustrade, bar, barbed wire, barricade, block, boards, chains, Cyclone, defense, dike, guard, hedge, net, paling, palisade, pickets, posts, rail, railing, rampart, roadblock, shield, stakes,… …   New thesaurus

  • fence — ● fence nom masculin (anglais fence) Obstacle de steeple chase constitué par une barrière de planches …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • fence — [fens] verb [intransitive] informal LAW to buy and sell stolen goods: • The police suspect he has been fencing electronic equipment …   Financial and business terms

  • fence in — index circumscribe (surround by boundary), confine, contain (enclose), enclose, encompass (surround), envelop …   Law dictionary