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(formerly) a person who composed and recited epic or heroic poems, often while playing the harp, lyre, or the like.
one of an ancient Celtic order of composers and reciters of poetry.
any poet.
the bard, William Shakespeare.
Armor. any of various pieces of defensive armor for a horse.
Cookery. a thin slice of fat or bacon secured to a roast of meat or poultry to prevent its drying out while cooking.
Armor. to caparison with bards.
Cookery. to secure thin slices of fat or bacon to (a roast of meat or poultry) before cooking.
Contemporary Examples

Can one seriously imagine that the bard, who wrote so stunningly of the sea, never truly saw it?
The Old Man and the Sea David Farr April 8, 2013

But Drunk Shakespeare takes the relationship between booze and the bard further still.
Is That a Bottle of Wine I See Before Me? The Delights of Drunk Shakespeare Tom Teodorczuk May 31, 2014

How would you explain the bard revival in New York right now?
Ethan Hawke On His Murderous, Seductive Turn as Macbeth Janice Kaplan November 22, 2013

The Kentucky bard Ed McClanahan once lived in California, where among various endeavors he played Boswell to the Grateful Dead.
The Stacks: Grateful Dead I Have Known Ed McClanahan August 29, 2014

At 18, while attending bard College, he began writing and performing one-man plays at the Black and White bar in the East Village.
Jonah Hill on ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ Prosthetic Penises, and Finance Douchebags Marlow Stern December 23, 2013

Historical Examples

They were a sort of cross between the bard and the fortuneteller.
Bible Studies Joseph M. Wheeler

The bard had come to see whether the stories about the harp were true or not.
Welsh Fairy Tales William Elliott Griffis

It may be contended rather that a (somewhat minor) bard in almost every case survives, and is the spice of life to his possessor.
Theology and the Social Consciousness Henry Churchill King

Of this the bard remarks “ni mad,” it was not honourable, “non bene.”
Y Gododin Aneurin

He is a reversion to an earlier type, the type of the bard, the skald, the poet-seer.
The Last Harvest John Burroughs


(formerly) one of an ancient Celtic order of poets who recited verses about the exploits, often legendary, of their tribes
(in modern times) a poet who wins a verse competition at a Welsh eisteddfod

(archaic or literary) any poet, esp one who writes lyric or heroic verse or is of national importance
a piece of larding bacon or pork fat placed on game or lean meat during roasting to prevent drying out
an ornamental caparison for a horse
verb (transitive)
to place a bard on
the Bard, an epithet of William Shakespeare

mid-15c., from Scottish, from Old Celtic bardos “poet, singer,” from PIE root *gwer- “to lift up the voice, praise.” In historical times, a term of contempt among the Scots (who considered them itinerant troublemakers), but one of great respect among the Welsh.

All vagabundis, fulis, bardis, scudlaris, and siclike idill pepill, sall be brint on the cheek. [local Scottish ordinance, c.1500]

Subsequently idealized by Scott in the more ancient sense of “lyric poet, singer.” Poetic use of the word in English is from Greek bardos, Latin bardus, both from Gaulish.


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    a written examination to determine if one is qualified to practice law in a particular jurisdiction. Historical Examples He has just passed his bar examination and is practicing temporarily in my office. The Mask Arthur Hornblow

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