- a point or pointed part projecting backward from a main point, as of a fishhook or arrowhead.
- an obviously or openly unpleasant or carping remark.
- Botany, Zoology. a hooked or sharp bristle.
- Ornithology. one of the processes attached to the rachis of a feather.
- one of a breed of domestic pigeons, similar to the carriers or homers, having a short, broad bill.
- any of numerous, small, Old World cyprinid fishes of the genera Barbus and Puntius, often kept in aquariums.
- Usually barbs. Veterinary Pathology. a small protuberance under the tongue in horses and cattle, especially when inflamed and swollen.
- Also barbe. a linen covering for the throat and breast, formerly worn by women mourners and now only by some nuns.
- Obsolete. a beard.
verb (used with object)
- to furnish with a barb or barbs.
- a subsidiary point facing in the opposite direction to the main point of a fish-hook, harpoon, arrow, etc, intended to make extraction difficult
- any of various pointed parts, as on barbed wire
- a cutting remark; gibe
- any of the numerous hairlike filaments that form the vane of a feather
- a beardlike growth in certain animals
- a hooked hair or projection on certain fruits
- any small cyprinid fish of the genus Barbus (or Puntius) and related genera, such as B. conchonius (rosy barb)
- (usually plural) any of the small fleshy protuberances beneath the tongue in horses and cattle
- a white linen cloth forming part of a headdress extending from the chin to the upper chest, originally worn by women in the Middle Ages, now worn by nuns of some orders
- obsolete a beard
- (tr) to provide with a barb or barbs
- a breed of horse of North African origin, similar to the Arab but less spirited
- Australian a black kelpieSee kelpie 1
n acronym for (in Britain)
- Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board
late 15c., “to clip, mow;” see barb (n.). Meaning “to fit or furnish with barbs” is from 1610s. Related: Barbed; barbing.
late 14c., “barb of an arrow,” from Old French barbe (11c.) “beard, beardlike appendage,” from Latin barba “beard,” perhaps cognate with Old English beard (see beard (n.)).
- A sharp point projecting backward, as on the stinger of a bee.
- One of the hairlike branches on the shaft of a feather.