What does barbican mean?

Definitions for barbican
ˈbɑr bɪ kənbar·bi·can

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word barbican.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. barbican, barbacannoun

    a tower that is part of a defensive structure (such as a castle)


  1. barbicannoun

    A tower at the entrance to a castle or fortified town

  2. barbicannoun

    A fortress at the end of a bridge.

  3. barbicannoun

    An opening in the wall of a fortress through which the guns are levelled; a narrow loophole through which arrows and other missiles may be shot.

  4. barbicannoun

    A temporary wooden tower built for defensive purposes.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Barbicannoun

    alt. of Barbacan


  1. Barbican

    A barbican is a fortified outpost or gateway, such as an outer defence to a city or castle, or any tower situated over a gate or bridge which was used for defensive purposes. Usually barbicans were situated outside the main line of defences and connected to the city walls with a walled road called the neck. In the 15th century, with the improvement in siege tactics and artillery, barbicans lost their significance. However, several barbicans were built even in the 16th century. Fortified or mock-fortified gatehouses remained a feature of ambitious French and English residences into the 17th century. Fortifications in East Asia also featured similar structures. In particular, gates in Chinese city walls were often defended by an additional "archery tower" in front of the main gatehouse, with the two towers connected by walls extending out from the main fortification. Called literally "jar walls", they are often referred to as "barbicans" in English.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Barbican

    bär′bi-kan, n. a projecting watch-tower over the gate of a castle or fortified town, esp. the outwork intended to defend the drawbridge. [O. Fr. barbacane, also in Sp., Port., and It. forms; perh. of Ar. or Pers. origin. Col. Yule suggests bābkhānah, gate-house, name in the East for a towered gateway.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. barbican

    In fortification, a watch-tower for the purpose of descrying an enemy at a distance; advanced works of a place or citadel, properly the boulevards of the gates and walls; a fort at the entrance of a tower or bridge, with a double wall; or an aperture or loop-hole in the walls of a fortress through which to fire upon an enemy.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Barbican

    That portion of the Roman wall round the city of London where there must have been a watch-tower looking towards the north. Barbacana is a Persian word for a watch-tower in connection with a fortified place.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce barbican?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say barbican in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of barbican in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of barbican in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of barbican in a Sentence

  1. Kenny Pope:

    The Admiral Macbride pub at the Barbican in Plymouth, Devon where the ladies toilets were apparently built on the spot where the Pilgrim fathers left for America. ( Credit : SWNS) Florida resident Kenny Pope, whowas visiting Plymouth for a week, said Kenny Pope knew about the steps and the bathroom after doing some research. I knew there was a lot of damage from [ World War II ] and the bombing and I know that over 400 years a lot of things get moved around so it was not a shock.

Images & Illustrations of barbican

  1. barbicanbarbicanbarbicanbarbicanbarbican

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    openly distrustful and unwilling to confide
    • A. cosmopolitan
    • B. suspicious
    • C. transparent
    • D. busy

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