see also: Bar
  • (British) IPA: /bɑː/
  • (America) enPR: bär, IPA: /bɑɹ/, [bɑɹ], [bɑ˞]


  1. A solid, more or less rigid object of metal or wood with a uniform cross-section smaller than its length.
    The window was protected by steel bars.
  2. (countable, uncountable, metallurgy) A solid metal object with uniform (round, square, hexagonal, octagonal or rectangular) cross-section; in the US its smallest dimension is frac 1 inch or greater, a piece of thinner material being called a strip.
    Ancient Sparta used iron bars instead of handy coins in more valuable alloy, to physically discourage the use of money.
    We are expecting a carload of bar tomorrow.
  3. A cuboid piece of any solid commodity.
    bar of chocolate
    bar of soap
  4. A broad shaft, or band, or stripe.
    a bar of light
    a bar of colour
  5. A long, narrow drawn or printed rectangle, cuboid or cylinder, especially as used in a bar code or a bar chart.
  6. (typography) Any of various lines used as punctuation or diacritics, such as the pipe ⟨|⟩, fraction bar (as in 12), and strikethrough (as in Ⱥ), formerly (obsolete) including oblique marks such as the slash.
    hypo en
  7. (mathematics) The sign indicating that the characteristic of a logarithm is negative, conventionally placed above the digit(s) to show that it applies to the characteristic only and not to the mantissa.
  8. (physics) A similar sign indicating that the charge on a particle is negative (and that consequently the particle is in fact an antiparticle).
  9. A business licensed to sell alcoholic drinks for consumption on the premises, or the premises themselves; public house.
    Synonyms: barroom, ginshop, pub, public house, tavern, Thesaurus:pub
    The street was lined with all-night bars.
  10. The counter of such premises.
    Step up to the bar and order a drink.
  11. A counter, or simply a cabinet, from which alcoholic drinks are served in a private house or a hotel room.
  12. (by extension, in combinations such as coffee bar, juice bar etc.) Premises or a counter serving any type of beverage.
  13. An establishment where alcohol and sometimes other refreshments are served.
  14. An informal establishment selling food to be consumed on the premises.
    a burger bar
    a local fish bar
  15. An establishment offering cosmetic services.
    a nail bar; a brow bar
  16. An official order or pronouncement that prohibits some activity.
    Synonyms: ban, prohibition
    The club has lifted its bar on women members.
  17. Anything that obstructs, hinders, or prevents; an obstruction; a barrier.
    • Must I new bars to my own joy create?
    • 2013, Terence Dillon, A Long Way Home (page 184)
      Mr Harding could look back on his initial judgement of Paul's talent with great satisfaction while Paul could reflect that to be Irish was not necessarily a bar to progress.
  18. (programming, whimsical, derived from fubar) A metasyntactic variable representing an unspecified entity, often the second in a series, following foo.
    Suppose we have two objects, foo and bar.
  19. (UK, Parliament) A dividing line (physical or notional) in the chamber of a legislature beyond which only members and officials may pass.
  20. (UK, law) The railing surrounding the part of a courtroom in which the judges, lawyers, defendants and witnesses stay
  21. (US, law) "the Bar" or "the bar" The bar exam, the legal licensing exam.
    He's studying hard to pass the Bar this time; he's failed it twice before.
  22. (law, metonym, "the Bar", "the bar") Collectively, lawyers or the legal profession; specifically applied to barristers in some countries but including all lawyers in others.
    He was called to the bar, he became a barrister.
  23. (telecommunications, electronics) One of an array of bar-shaped symbols that display the level of something, such as wireless signal strength or battery life remaining.
    I don't have any bars in the middle of this desert.
  24. (music) A vertical line across a musical staff dividing written music into sections, typically of equal durational value.
    Synonyms: measure
  25. (music) One of those musical sections.
  26. (sports) A horizontal pole that must be crossed in high jump and pole vault
  27. (metaphorical) Any level of achievement regarded as a challenge to be overcome.
  28. (football, most codes) The crossbar.
  29. (backgammon) The central divider between the inner and outer table of a backgammon board, where stones are placed if they are hit.
  30. An addition to a military medal, on account of a subsequent act
  31. A linear shoaling landform feature within a body of water.
  32. (geography, nautical, hydrology) A ridge or succession of ridges of sand or other substance, especially a formation extending across the mouth of a river or harbor or off a beach, and which may obstruct navigation. (FM 55-501).
  33. (heraldiccharge) One of the ordinaries in heraldry; a fess.
  34. A city gate, in some British place names.
    Potter's Bar
  35. (mining) A drilling or tamping rod.
  36. (mining) A vein or dike crossing a lode.
  37. (architecture) A gatehouse of a castle or fortified town.
  38. (farriery) The part of the crust of a horse's hoof which is bent inwards towards the frog at the heel on each side, and extends into the centre of the sole.
  39. (farriery, in the plural) The space between the tusks and grinders in the upper jaw of a horse, in which the bit is placed.
  1. (grammar, X-bar theory) Pronunciation of ¯, a symbol indicating an X-bar.

bar (bars, present participle barring; past and past participle barred)

  1. (transitive) To obstruct the passage of (someone or something).
    Our way was barred by a huge rockfall.
  2. (transitive) To prohibit.
    I couldn't get into the nightclub because I had been barred.
  3. (transitive) To lock or bolt with a bar.
    bar the door
  4. To imprint or paint with bars, to stripe.
    • 1899 February, Joseph Conrad, “The Heart of Darkness”, in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, volume CLXV, number M, New York, N.Y.: The Leonard Scott Publishing Company, […], OCLC 1042815524 ↗, part I:
      I lived in a hut in the yard, but to be out of the chaos I would sometimes get into the accountant’s office. It was built of horizontal planks, and so badly put together that, as he bent over his high desk, he was barred from neck to heels with narrow strips of sunlight.
Synonyms Preposition
  1. Except, other than, besides.
    He invited everyone to his wedding bar his ex-wife.
  2. (horse racing) Denotes the minimum odds offered on other horses not mentioned by name.
    Leg At Each Corner is at 3/1, Lost My Shirt 5/1, and it's 10/1 bar.
Synonyms Noun

bar (plural bars)

  1. A non-SI unit of pressure equal to 100,000 pascals, approximately equal to atmospheric pressure at sea level.
Related terms
Proper noun
  1. A coastal town/non-city capital in Bar, in southern.
  2. A municipality in southern Montenegro.
  • Italian: Antivari
  • Russian: Бар
Proper noun
  1. Nickname from the female given name Barbara.

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