fence

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 [ˈfɛns]



WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
fence /fɛns/USA pronunciation   n., v.,  fenced, fenc•ing. 
n. [countable]
  1. a barrier enclosing or surrounding a field, yard, etc., usually made of posts and wire or wood.
  2. Informal Termsa person who receives and disposes of stolen goods.

v. 
  1. to enclose by a fence:[+ object]to fence a farm.
  2. to separate by or as if by a fence:[+ (in/off/out) + object]to fence off a corner of a garden.
  3. to sell (stolen goods) to a fence:[+ object]The thieves weren't able to fence the stolen jewels.
  4. Sport to practice the art or sport of fencing:[no object]The two swordsmen were fencing.
Idioms
  1. Idiomson the fence, uncommitted;
    neutral;
    undecided:The party chairman stayed on the fence until the primaries were over.


WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
fence  (fens),USA pronunciation n., v.,  fenced, fenc•ing. 
n. 
  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 Termsa person who receives and disposes of stolen goods.
  3. the place of business of such a person.
  4. Sportthe act, practice, art, or sport of fencing.
  5. skill in argument, repartee, etc.
  6. Mechanical Engineering[Mach.]a guard or guide, as for regulating the movements of a tool or work.
  7. Building[Carpentry.]a slotted guide used esp. with a framing square to lay out cuts on rafters and staircase strings.
  8. [Archaic.]a means of defense;
    a bulwark.
  9. Idiomsmend 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.
  10. Idiomson the fence, uncommitted;
    neutral;
    undecided:The party leaders are still on the fence.

v.t. 
  1. to enclose by some barrier, establishing exclusive right to possession:to fence a farm.
  2. to separate by or as by a fence or fences (often fol. by in, off, out, etc.):to fence off a corner of one's yard; to fence out unwholesome influences.
  3. to defend;
    protect;
    guard:The president was fenced by bodyguards wherever he went.
  4. to ward off;
    keep out.
  5. Informal Termsto sell (stolen goods) to a fence.
  6. Nautical, Naval Termsto reinforce (an opening in a sail or the like) by sewing on a grommet or other device.

v.i. 
  1. Sportto practice the art or sport of fencing.
  2. to parry arguments;
    strive to avoid giving direct answers;
    hedge:The mayor fenced when asked if he would run again.
  3. (of a horse) to leap over a fence.
  4. [Obs.]to raise a defense.
fencelike′, adj. 
  • Middle English fens, aphetic for defens defense 1300–50


Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

fence /fɛns/ n
  1. 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
  2. slang a dealer in stolen property
  3. an obstacle for a horse to jump in steeplechasing or showjumping
  4. a guard or guide, esp in a circular saw or plane
  5. on the fenceunable or unwilling to commit oneself
vb
  1. (transitive) to construct a fence on or around (a piece of land, etc)
  2. (tr; followed by in or off) to close (in) or separate (off) with or as if with a fence: he fenced in the livestock
  3. (intransitive) to fight using swords or foils
  4. (intransitive) to evade a question or argument, esp by quibbling over minor points
  5. (intransitive) to engage in skilful or witty debate, repartee, etc
Etymology: 14th Century fens, shortened from defens defence

ˈfenceless adj



'fence' also found in these entries:
Collocations: a [wooden, wire, barbed wire, metal] fence, the [garden, prison, park, stadium] fence, [an electric, a chain-link, a barbed-wire] fence, more...

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