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Barn door

the door of a barn
(informal) a target so large that it cannot be missed
(photog, television, theatre) an adjustable flap over the front of a studio or theatre lamp
Contemporary Examples

Facebook has—to fracture an old phrase—just closed the barn door after a billion cows already departed the premises.
You Can’t Have Facebook’s Best Privacy Policy Dennis Kneale May 22, 2014

Historical Examples

Joe Braggs, for instance, would snore till the barn door rattled.
The Yeoman Adventurer George W. Gough

He tiptoed to the barn door, eying a light in the farm-house.
The Trail of the Hawk Sinclair Lewis

He told how one of their party had come near getting his skin sewed on a barn door.
A Man for the Ages Irving Bacheller

There was the little hen, sitting on the ground, near the barn door.
Clematis Bertha B. Cobb

Mr. Preston stood at the barn door, giving commands to the workers.
Madge Morton’s Trust Amy D. V. Chalmers

His mother turned the key in the padlock on the outside of the barn door.
The Curlytops and Their Pets Howard R. Garis

Why, from the price I expected something as big as a barn door!
It Pays to Smile Nina Wilcox Putnam

A burnt stick and a barn door served Wilkie in lieu of pencil and canvas.
Self-Help Samuel Smiles

He finished the milking and the other chores and latched the barn door.
The Duck-footed Hound James Arthur Kjelgaard


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    barnyard grass. a weedy, coarse grass, Echinochloa crus-galli, having a spikelike cluster of flowers.

  • Barn owl

    a yellowish-brown and white owl, Tyto alba, often inhabiting barns and other buildings. Historical Examples If so, the White or barn owl is probably the particular species to which reference is made. Bible Animals; J. G. Wood However, neither with the barn owl nor with man has the species-maker had his own way. Birds of […]

  • Barn raising

    (in rural areas) a party, usually providing food, drink, etc., for the purpose of assisting a neighbor to put up a new barn. Historical Examples Come a muster or a barn raising or an election or anything, Harve Allen fought somebody—and licked him. Back Home Irvin S. Cobb It can be made as much of […]

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