Behind bars



a relatively long, evenly shaped piece of some solid substance, as metal or wood, used as a guard or obstruction or for some mechanical purpose:
the bars of a cage.
an oblong piece of any solid material:
a bar of soap; a candy bar.
the amount of material in a bar.
an ingot, lump, or wedge of gold or silver.
a long ridge of sand, gravel, or other material near or slightly above the surface of the water at or near the mouth of a river or harbor entrance, often constituting an obstruction to navigation.
anything that obstructs, hinders, or impedes; obstacle; barrier:
a bar to important legislation.
a counter or place where beverages, especially liquors, or light meals are served to customers:
a snack bar; a milk bar.
a barroom or tavern.
(in a home) a counter, small wagon, or similar piece of furniture for serving food or beverages:
a breakfast bar.
the legal profession.
the practicing members of the legal profession in a given community.
any tribunal:
the bar of public opinion.
a band or strip:
a bar of light.
a railing in a courtroom separating the general public from the part of the room occupied by the judges, jury, attorneys, etc.
a crowbar.
Music.

Also called bar line. the line marking the division between two measures of music.
double bar.
the unit of music contained between two bar lines; measure.

Ballet. barre.
Law.

an objection that nullifies an action or claim.
a stoppage or defeat of an alleged right of action.

Typography. a horizontal stroke of a type character, as of an A, H, t, and sometimes e.
Architecture. (in tracery) a relatively long and slender upright of stone treated as a colonette or molded.
Building Trades.

an iron or steel shape:
I-bar.
a muntin.

Military. one of a pair of metal or cloth insignia worn by certain commissioned officers.
bars, the transverse ridges on the roof of the mouth of a horse.
a space between the molar and canine teeth of a horse into which the bit is fitted.
(in a bridle) the mouthpiece connecting the cheeks.
bride2 (def 1).
Heraldry. a horizontal band, narrower than a fess, that crosses the field of an escutcheon.
Obsolete. a gateway capable of being barred.
to equip or fasten with a bar or bars:
Bar the door before retiring for the night.
to block by or as if by bars:
The police barred the exits in an attempt to prevent the thief’s escape.
to prevent or hinder:
They barred her entrance to the club.
to exclude or except:
He was barred from membership because of his reputation.
to mark with bars,ŋ stripes, or bands.
except; omitting; but:
bar none.
at bar, Law.

before the court and being tried:
a case at bar.
before all the judges of a court:
a trial at bar.

behind bars, in jail:
We wanted the criminal behind bars.
Contemporary Examples

Will Celebrity Snoop Anthony Pellicano Get Sprung? Christine Pelisek June 20, 2012
Death Row Debbie Milke Could Soon Be Free Terry Greene Sterling May 25, 2013
Should the Pope Resign? Barbie Latza Nadeau March 16, 2010
Behind Bars for the Holidays: 11 Political Prisoners We Want to See Free In 2015 Movements.Org December 24, 2014
Laws Gone Wild: As Teen Sweethearts Go to Prison for Sex, Mothers Rebel Abigail Pesta January 24, 2012

Historical Examples

Frank Merriwell’s Triumph Burt L. Standish
The Adventure Girls at K Bar O Clair Blank
The Green Rust Edgar Wallace
Whispers at Dawn Roy J. Snell
Dick Merriwell Abroad Burt L. Standish

noun
a rigid usually straight length of metal, wood, etc, that is longer than it is wide or thick, used esp as a barrier or as a structural or mechanical part: a bar of a gate
a solid usually rectangular block of any material: a bar of soap
anything that obstructs or prevents

an offshore ridge of sand, mud, or shingle lying near the shore and parallel to it, across the mouth of a river, bay, or harbour, or linking an island to the mainland
(US & Canadian) an alluvial deposit in a stream, river, or lake

a counter or room where alcoholic drinks are served
a counter, room, or establishment where a particular range of goods, food, services, etc, are sold: a coffee bar, a heel bar
a narrow band or stripe, as of colour or light
a heating element in an electric fire
(in England) the area in a court of law separating the part reserved for the bench and Queen’s Counsel from the area occupied by junior barristers, solicitors, and the general public See also Bar
the place in a court of law where the accused stands during his trial: the prisoner at the bar
a particular court of law
(Brit) (in the House of Lords and House of Commons) the boundary where nonmembers wishing to address either House appear and where persons are arraigned
a plea showing that a plaintiff has no cause of action, as when the case has already been adjudicated upon or the time allowed for bringing the action has passed
anything referred to as an authority or tribunal: the bar of decency
(music) Also called measure

a group of beats that is repeated with a consistent rhythm throughout a piece or passage of music. The number of beats in the bar is indicated by the time signature
another word for bar line

(Brit) insignia added to a decoration indicating a second award
(US) a strip of metal worn with uniform, esp to signify rank or as an award for service

a variant spelling of barre
(sport) See crossbar
(gymnastics) See horizontal bar

part of the metal mouthpiece of a horse’s bridle
the space between the horse’s teeth in which such a part fits

either of two horny extensions that project forwards and inwards from the rear of the outer layer of a horse’s hoof
See crowbar, glazing-bar
(lacemaking, needlework) another name for bride2
(heraldry) an ordinary consisting of a horizontal line across a shield, typically narrower than a fesse, and usually appearing in twos or threes
(maths) a superscript line ⁻ placed over a letter symbol to indicate, for example, a mean value or the complex conjugate of a complex number
behind bars, in prison
(Austral & NZ, informal) won’t have a bar of, wouldn’t have a bar of, cannot tolerate; dislike
verb (transitive) bars, barring, barred
to fasten or secure with a bar: to bar the door
to shut in or out with or as if with barriers: to bar the entrances
to obstruct; hinder: the fallen tree barred the road
(usually foll by from) to prohibit; forbid: to bar a couple from meeting
(usually foll by from) to keep out; exclude: to bar a person from membership
to mark with a bar or bars
(law) to prevent or halt (an action) by showing that the claimant has no cause
to mark off (music) into bars with bar lines
preposition
except for: the best recital bar last night’s
bar none, without exception
noun
a cgs unit of pressure equal to 106 dynes per square centimetre. 1 bar is equivalent to 105 newtons per square metre
noun
immunity from being caught or otherwise penalized in a game
interjection
a cry for such immunity
noun the Bar
(in England and elsewhere) barristers collectively
(US) the legal profession collectively
(Brit) be called to the Bar, to become a barrister
(Brit) be called within the Bar, to be appointed as a Queen’s Counsel
abbreviation
Browning Automatic Rifle
n.
v.

bar
(bär)

Browning Automatic Rifle
Bachelor of Architecture

In prison, as in All murderers should be put behind bars for life. The bars here refer to the iron rods used to confine prisoners. [ c. 1900 ]
In addition to the idiom beginning with
bar

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