a barrier enclosing or bordering a field, yard, etc., usually made of posts and wire or wood, used to prevent entrance, to confine, or to mark a boundary.
Informal. a person who receives and disposes of stolen goods.
the place of business of such a person.
the act, practice, art, or sport of fencing.
skill in argument, repartee, etc.
Machinery. a guard or guide, as for regulating the movements of a tool or work.
Carpentry. a slotted guide used especially with a framing square to lay out cuts on rafters and staircase strings.
Archaic. a means of defense; a bulwark.
verb (used with object), fenced, fencing.
to enclose by some barrier, establishing exclusive right to possession:
to fence a farm.
to separate by or as by a fence or fences (often followed by in, off, out, etc.):
to fence off a corner of one’s yard; to fence out unwholesome influences.
to defend; protect; guard:
The president was fenced by bodyguards wherever he went.
to ward off; keep out.
Informal. to sell (stolen goods) to a fence.
Nautical. to reinforce (an opening in a sail or the like) by sewing on a grommet or other device.
verb (used without object), fenced, fencing.
to practice the art or sport of fencing.
to parry arguments; strive to avoid giving direct answers; hedge:
The mayor fenced when asked if he would run again.
(of a horse) to leap over a fence.
Obsolete. to raise a defense.
mend one’s fences, to strengthen or reestablish one’s position by conciliation or negotiation:
One could tell by his superficially deferential manner that he was trying to mend his fences.
on the fence, uncommitted; neutral; undecided:
The party leaders are still on the fence.
a structure that serves to enclose an area such as a garden or field, usually made of posts of timber, concrete, or metal connected by wire, netting, rails, or boards
(slang) a dealer in stolen property
an obstacle for a horse to jump in steeplechasing or showjumping
(machinery) a guard or guide, esp in a circular saw or plane
a projection usually fitted to the top surface of a sweptback aircraft wing to prevent movement of the airflow towards the wing tips
mend one’s fences
on the fence, unable or unwilling to commit oneself
(Austral & NZ, informal) over the fence, unreasonable, unfair, or unjust
sit on the fence, to be unable or unwilling to commit oneself
(transitive) to construct a fence on or around (a piece of land, etc)
(transitive; foll by in or off) to close (in) or separate (off) with or as if with a fence: he fenced in the livestock
(intransitive) to fight using swords or foils
(intransitive) to evade a question or argument, esp by quibbling over minor points
(intransitive) to engage in skilful or witty debate, repartee, etc
(intransitive) (slang) to receive stolen property
(transitive) (archaic) to ward off or keep out
early 14c., “action of defending,” shortening of defens (see defense). Spelling alternated between -c- and -s- in Middle English. Sense of “enclosure” is first recorded mid-15c. on notion of “that which serves as a defense.” Sense of “dealer in stolen goods” is thieves’ slang, first attested c.1700, from notion of such transactions taking place under defense of secrecy. To be figuratively on the fence “uncommitted” is from 1828, perhaps from the notion of spectators at a fight, or a simple literal image: “A man sitting on the top of a fence, can jump down on either side with equal facility.” [Bartlett, “Dictionary of Americanisms,” 1848].
mid-15c., “surround with a fence;” c.1500, “defend, screen, protect;” 1590s, “fight with swords;” the last from the noun in this sense (1530s); see fence (n.). Related: Fenced, fencing.
A person or place that deals in stolen goods: but even big fences like Alphonso can get stuck/ The loot had disappeared and been handled by a fence (1700+)
: The clown that stole the Mona Lisa found it hard to fence (1610+)
go for the fences, on the fence
[all senses are shortenings of defence; in the case of criminal act, the notion is probably that of a secure place and trusty person, well defended]
(Heb. gader), Num. 22:24 (R.V.). Fences were constructions of unmortared stones, to protect gardens, vineyards, sheepfolds, etc. From various causes they were apt to bulge out and fall (Ps. 62:3). In Ps. 80:12, R.V. (see Isa. 5:5), the psalmist says, “Why hast thou broken down her fences?” Serpents delight to lurk in the crevices of such fences (Eccl. 10:8; comp. Amos 5:19).
noun 1. either of two spiny lizards, Sceloporus undulatus and S. occidentalis, of the U.S. and northern Mexico, often seen on fences.
[fens-men-ding] /ˈfɛnsˌmɛn dɪŋ/ Informal. noun 1. the practice of reestablishing or strengthening personal, business, or political contacts and relationships by conciliation or negotiation, as after a dispute, disagreement, or period of inactivity. adjective 2. of, relating to, or promoting fence-mending.
[fens-awf, -of] /ˈfɛnsˌɔf, -ˌɒf/ noun, Fencing. 1. a match between individual contestants or teams for settling a tie. [fens] /fɛns/ noun 1. a barrier enclosing or bordering a field, yard, etc., usually made of posts and wire or wood, used to prevent entrance, to confine, or to mark a boundary. 2. Informal. a person who […]
- Fencepost error
1. (Rarely “lamp-post error”) A problem with the discrete equivalent of a boundary condition, often exhibited in programs by iterative loops. From the following problem: “If you build a fence 100 feet long with posts 10 feet apart, how many posts do you need?” (Either 9 or 11 is a better answer than the obvious […]