What does fence mean?

Definitions for fence

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. fence, fencingnoun

    a barrier that serves to enclose an area

  2. fenceverb

    a dealer in stolen property

  3. fence, fence inverb

    enclose with a fence

    "we fenced in our yard"

  4. fenceverb

    receive stolen goods

  5. fenceverb

    fight with fencing swords

  6. wall, palisade, fence, fence in, surroundverb

    surround with a wall in order to fortify

  7. argue, contend, debate, fenceverb

    have an argument about something


  1. fencenoun

    A thin, human-constructed barrier which separates two pieces of land or a house perimeter.

  2. fencenoun

    A middleman for transactions of stolen goods.

  3. fencenoun

    The place whence such a middleman operates.

  4. fencenoun

    Skill in oral debate.

  5. fencenoun

    The art or practice of fencing.

  6. fencenoun

    A guard or guide on machinery.

  7. fencenoun

    A barrier, for example an emotional barrier.

  8. fenceverb

    To enclose, contain or separate by building fence.

  9. fenceverb

    To defend or guard.

  10. fenceverb

    To engage in the selling or buying of stolen goods.

  11. fenceverb

    To engage in (the sport) fencing.

  12. fenceverb

    To jump over a fence.

  13. Etymology: The original meaning is "the act of defending", from Middle French defens (see defence), adopted in the 14th century.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Fencenoun

    Etymology: from defence.

    That proved not fence enough to the reputation of their oppressors. Decay of Piety.

    There’s no fence against inundations, earthquakes, or hurricanes. Roger L'Estrange, Fable 167.

    To put them out of their parents view, at a great distance, is to expose them to the greatest dangers of their whole life, when they have the least fence and guard against them. John Locke.

    Let us bear this awful corps to Cæsar,
    And lay it in his sight, that it may stand
    A fence betwixt us and the victor’s wrath. Joseph Addison, Cato.

    In vain did nature’s wise command
    Divide the waters from the land,
    If daring ships, and men prophane,
    Invade th’ inviolable main;
    Th’ eternal fences overleap,
    And pass at will the boundless deep. John Dryden, Horace.

    Shall I mention make
    Of the vast mound that binds the Lucrine lake?
    Or the disdainful sea, that, shut from thence,
    Roars round the structure, and invades the fence? Dryden.

    Employ their wiles and unavailing care,
    To pass the fences and surprise the fair. Alexander Pope.

    I bruised my skin th’ other day, with playing at sword and dagger with a master of fence. William Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Winds.

    I’ll prove it on his body, if he dare,
    Despite his nice fence and his active practice. William Shakespeare.

  2. To Fenceverb

    Th’ inhabitants each pasture and each plain
    Destroyed have, each field to waste is lade;
    In fenced towers bestowed is their grain,
    Before thou cam’st this kingdom to invade. Edward Fairfax, b. ii.

    He hath fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and set darkness in my paths. Job xix. 8.

    Thou hast cloathed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews. Job x.

    He went about to make a bridge to a strong city, which was fenced about with walls. 2 Mac. xii. 13.

    See that the churchyard be fenced in with a decent rail, or other inclosure. John Ayliffe, Parergon.

    So much of adders wisdom I have learnt,
    To fence my ear against thy sorceries. John Milton, Agonistes.

    With love to friend, th’ impatient lover went,
    Fenc’d from the thorns, and trod the deep descent. Dryden.

  3. To Fenceverb

    He having got some iron, should have it beaten into swords, and put into his servants hands to fence with, and bang one another. John Locke.

    Vice is the more stubborn as well as the more dangerous evil, and therefore in the first place to be fenced against. John Locke.

    If a throttle sing, he falls strait a capering:
    He will fence with his own shadow. William Shakespeare, Merch. of Venice.

    A beauteous heifer in the wood is bred;
    The stooping warriors, aiming head to head,
    Engage their clashing horns; with dreadful sound
    The forest rattles, and the rocks rebound;
    They fence and push, and, pushing, loudly roar,
    Their dewlaps and their sides are bath’d in gore. Dryden.

    A man that cannot fence will keep out of bullies and gamesters company. John Locke.

    These, being polemical arts, could no more be learned alone than fencing or cudgelplaying. Scriblerus Club , Ma. Sc.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Fencenoun

    that which fends off attack or danger; a defense; a protection; a cover; security; shield

  2. Fencenoun

    an inclosure about a field or other space, or about any object; especially, an inclosing structure of wood, iron, or other material, intended to prevent intrusion from without or straying from within

  3. Fencenoun

    a projection on the bolt, which passes through the tumbler gates in locking and unlocking

  4. Fencenoun

    self-defense by the use of the sword; the art and practice of fencing and sword play; hence, skill in debate and repartee. See Fencing

  5. Fencenoun

    a receiver of stolen goods, or a place where they are received

  6. Fenceverb

    to fend off danger from; to give security to; to protect; to guard

  7. Fenceverb

    to inclose with a fence or other protection; to secure by an inclosure

  8. Fenceverb

    to make a defense; to guard one's self of anything, as against an attack; to give protection or security, as by a fence

  9. Fenceverb

    to practice the art of attack and defense with the sword or with the foil, esp. with the smallsword, using the point only

  10. Fenceverb

    hence, to fight or dispute in the manner of fencers, that is, by thrusting, guarding, parrying, etc

  11. Etymology: [Abbrev. from defence.]


  1. Fence

    A fence is a freestanding structure designed to restrict or prevent movement across a boundary. Fences are generally distinguished from walls by the lightness of their construction and their purpose. Walls are usually barriers made from solid brick or concrete, blocking vision as well as passage, while fences are used more frequently to provide visual sectioning of spaces. Alternatives to fencing include a ditch.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Fence

    fens, n. a wall or hedge for enclosing animals or for protecting land: the art of fencing: defence: a receiver of stolen goods, also a receiving-house.—v.t. to enclose with a fence: to fortify.—v.i. to practise fencing: to conceal the truth by equivocal answers.—adjs. Fenced, enclosed with a fence; Fence′less, without fence or enclosure, open.—n. Fenc′er, one who practises fencing with a sword.—adj. Fenc′ible, capable of being fenced or defended.—n.pl. Fenc′ibles, volunteer regiments raised for local defence during a special crisis: militia enlisted for home service.—p.adj. Fenc′ing, defending or guarding.—n. the act of erecting a fence: the art of attack and defence with a sword or other weapon.—n. Fenc′ing-mas′ter, one who teaches fencing.—Fence the tables, in the ancient usage of Scotland, to debar from partaking in communion those guilty of any known sin.—Sit on the fence, to be still hesitating as between two opinions; Sunk fence, a ditch or water-course. [Abbrev. of defence.]

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. fence

    n. 1. A sequence of one or more distinguished (out-of-band) characters (or other data items), used to delimit a piece of data intended to be treated as a unit (the computer-science literature calls this a sentinel). The NUL (ASCII 0000000) character that terminates strings in C is a fence. Hex FF is also (though slightly less frequently) used this way. See zigamorph. 2. An extra data value inserted in an array or other data structure in order to allow some normal test on the array's contents also to function as a termination test. For example, a highly optimized routine for finding a value in an array might artificially place a copy of the value to be searched for after the last slot of the array, thus allowing the main search loop to search for the value without having to check at each pass whether the end of the array had been reached. 3. [among users of optimizing compilers] Any technique, usually exploiting knowledge about the compiler, that blocks certain optimizations. Used when explicit mechanisms are not available or are overkill. Typically a hack: “I call a dummy procedure there to force a flush of the optimizer's register-coloring info” can be expressed by the shorter “That's a fence procedure”.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. fence

    A palisade. Also, the arm of the hammer-spring of a gun-lock.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. fence

    Self-defense by the use of the sword; fencing; the art and practice of fencing or sword-play.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'fence' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2881

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'fence' in Nouns Frequency: #1699

How to pronounce fence?

How to say fence in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of fence in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of fence in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of fence in a Sentence

  1. Kelvin Davis:

    I believe a fence has been torn down and detainees from the segregated unit have joined the other detainees. I believe that canisters have been fired into the compound but haven't gone off.

  2. Patrick Hickey:

    If people do not have work or an industry, they rely on this activity, where you can fence off the mine site, you do. Where you can't, you try to use security. But it is difficult.

  3. Japhet Mwala:

    There were those who were not able to leave the hostels where the gunmen headed and started firing, i am lucky to be alive, because I jumped through the fence with other students.

  4. Jessica Castro:

    We see them running through the village confused, not knowing where they are or where to go, the fence really doesn’t make a difference.

  5. Nicanor Cuevas:

    We installed two fences around the property, an electrical fence to prevent unauthorized access and there will be guards from a private security company watching the field 24/7.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for fence

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    given to or marked by the consumption of alcohol
    • A. bibulous
    • B. naiant
    • C. valetudinarian
    • D. tenebrous

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