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barb 1 (bärb)
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n.
1. A sharp point projecting in reverse direction to the main point of a weapon or tool, as on an arrow or fishhook.
2. A cutting remark.
3. Zoology A small, sharp point projecting in reverse direction from the tip, as on a porcupine quill or a bee sting.
4. Zoology One of the parallel filaments projecting from the main shaft of a feather.
5. Botany A short, sharp, reflexed bristle or hairlike projection.
6. See barbel1.
7. Any of various Old World freshwater fishes of the genera Barbus, Puntius, and related genera of the family Cyprinidae.
8. A linen covering for a woman's head, throat, and chin worn in medieval times.
tr.v. barbed, barb·ing, barbs
To provide or furnish with a barb.

[Middle English barbe, from Old French, beard, from Latin barba; see bhardh-ā- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
barb 2 (bärb)
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n.
1. A horse of a breed introduced by the Moors into Spain from northern Africa that has high withers and an arched neck and is known for its speed and endurance.
2. Any of a breed of domestic pigeon that has prominent wattles around the eyes.

[French barbe, from Italian barbero, Berber, from Vulgar Latin *Barbaria, Barbary States, from Latin barbarus, barbarous; see BARBAROUS.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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