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.
to furnish with a barb or barbs.
Historical Examples

The building is 800 feet in length, and is supplied with about 200 machines for twisting and barbing the wire.
Prairie Farmer, Vol. 56: No. 1, January 5, 1884. Various

Others have notches in them, somewhat similar to an attempt at barbing.
Primitive Man Louis Figuier

Then followed a device for twisting and barbing, and the application of horse power.
Prairie Farmer, Vol. 56: No. 1, January 5, 1884. Various

Then, barbing it with a sting of his own making, he added: “But Gitanos, never!”
The Wolf Cub Patrick Casey

The barbing and twisting together of the two longitudinal strand wires is done by automatic machinery.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3 Various

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 pl) 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
(transitive) to provide with a barb or barbs
a breed of horse of North African origin, similar to the Arab but less spirited
(Austral) a black kelpie See kelpie1
noun acronym (in Britain)
Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board

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.)).

late 15c., “to clip, mow;” see barb (n.). Meaning “to fit or furnish with barbs” is from 1610s. Related: Barbed; barbing.

A sharp point projecting backward, as on the stinger of a bee.

One of the hairlike branches on the shaft of a feather.


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