Other forms: bars; barred; barring

If you bar a college student from entering a bar because he's too young to drink, it means that you prevent him from going into an establishment that serves alcoholic beverages.

Bar is one of those handy words with many different meanings. There's the kind of bar where you order coffee or a drink. There is also the bar that a bartender keeps close at hand in case she needs a weapon when patrons get rowdy — like a long piece of metal. And when you bar something, you make it inaccessible in some way. The word bar comes from the French word barre, which means "beam, gate, or barrier."

Definitions of bar
  1. noun
    a rigid piece of metal or wood; usually used as a fastening or obstruction or weapon
    “there were bars in the windows to prevent escape”
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    belaying pin
    a wood or metal bar to which a rope can be secured (as on a ship or in mountain climbing)
    bolt, deadbolt
    the part of a lock that is engaged or withdrawn with a key
    a sliding bar in a breech-loading firearm that ejects an empty cartridge and replaces it and closes the breech
    carpenter's level
    a straight bar of light metal with a spirit level in it
    chinning bar
    a horizontal bar on which you can chin yourself
    a bar of magnetic material (as soft iron) that passes through a coil and serves to increase the inductance of the coil
    a horizontal bar that goes across something
    a strong metal bar bearing a hook to attach something to be pulled
    a small bar of metal across the fingerboard of a musical instrument; when the string is stopped by a finger at the metal bar it will produce a note of the desired pitch
    grab bar
    a bar attached parallel to a wall to provide a handgrip for steadying yourself
    the shaped bar used to steer a bicycle
    a metal bar (or length of pipe) used as a lever
    a bar used as a lever (as in twisting rope)
    a rigid bar pivoted about a fulcrum
    a horizontal bar (usually of wood or metal)
    the revolving bar of a distributor
    a U-shaped bar; the open end can be passed through chain links and closed with a bar
    slice bar
    iron bar used to loosen and rake clinkers out of furnaces
    anti-sway bar, stabilizer bar
    a rigid metal bar between the front suspensions and between the rear suspensions of cars and trucks; serves to stabilize the chassis
    towel bar, towel rail
    a horizontal bar a few inches from a wall for holding towels
    rail, rails, runway, track
    a bar or pair of parallel bars of rolled steel making the railway along which railroad cars or other vehicles can roll
    compound lever
    a pair of levers hinged at the fulcrum
    crowbar, pry, pry bar, wrecking bar
    a heavy iron lever with one end forged into a wedge
    a crossbar on a wagon or carriage to which two whiffletrees are attached in order to harness two horses abreast
    gun trigger, trigger
    lever that activates the firing mechanism of a gun
    hand throttle
    a hand-operated lever that controls the throttle valve
    hitching bar, hitchrack
    a fixed horizontal rail to which a horse can be hitched to prevent it from straying
    a lever (as in a keyboard) that actuates a mechanism when depressed
    ledger board
    top rail of a fence or balustrade
    cant dog, dog hook, peavey, peavy
    a stout lever with a sharp spike; used for handling logs
    foot lever, foot pedal, pedal, treadle
    a lever that is operated with the foot
    picture rail
    rail fixed to a wall for hanging pictures
    pinch bar
    a lever with a pointed projection that serves as a fulcrum; used to roll heavy wheels
    plate rail
    rail or narrow shelf fixed to a wall to display plates
    plumb level
    a carpenter's level with a plumb line at right angles to it
    ripping bar
    a steel lever with one end formed into a ripping chisel and the other a gooseneck with a claw for pulling nails
    rocker arm, valve rocker
    a lever pivoted at the center; used especially to push a valve down in an internal-combustion engine
    safety bolt, safety lock
    a bolt that cannot be moved from outside the door or gate
    spark lever
    (on early automobiles) a lever mounted on the steering column and used to adjust the timing of the ignition
    fence rail, split rail
    a rail that is split from a log
    control stick, joystick, stick
    a lever used by a pilot to control the ailerons and elevators of an airplane
    a lever that is moved in order to tap something else
    third rail
    a rail through which electric current is supplied to an electric locomotive
    lever used to turn the rudder on a boat
    tire iron, tire tool
    hand tool consisting of a lever that is used to force the casing of a pneumatic tire onto a steel wheel
    swingletree, whiffletree, whippletree
    a crossbar that is attached to the traces of a draft horse and to the vehicle or implement that the horse is pulling
    type of:
    instrumentation (a piece of equipment or tool) used to effect an end
  2. noun
    a block of solid substance (such as soap or wax)
    “a bar of chocolate”
    synonyms: cake
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    a small flat compressed cake of some substance
    type of:
    a solid piece of something (usually having flat rectangular sides)
  3. noun
    a narrow marking of a different color or texture from the background
    “a green toad with small black stripes or bars
    synonyms: streak, stripe
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    band, banding, stria, striation
    a stripe or stripes of contrasting color
    (zoology) an encircling band or marking around the neck of any animal
    stretch mark
    a narrow band resulting from tension on the skin (as on abdominal skin after pregnancy)
    type of:
    a pattern of marks
  4. noun
    an obstruction (usually metal) placed at the top of a goal
    “it was an excellent kick but the ball hit the bar
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    type of:
    impediment, impedimenta, obstructer, obstruction, obstructor
    any structure that makes progress difficult
  5. noun
    a horizontal rod that serves as a support for gymnasts as they perform exercises
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    type of:
    any device that bears the weight of another thing
  6. noun
    a submerged (or partly submerged) ridge in a river or along a shore
    “the boat ran aground on a submerged bar in the river”
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    sand bar, sandbar
    a bar of sand
    type of:
    anything serving to maintain separation by obstructing vision or access
    a long narrow natural elevation or striation
  7. noun
    a heating element in an electric fire
    “an electric fire with three bars
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    type of:
    heating element
    the component of a heater or range that transforms fuel or electricity into heat
  8. verb
    secure with, or as if with, bars
    “He barred the door”
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    remove a bar from (a door)
    type of:
    fasten, fix, secure
    cause to be firmly attached
  9. noun
    a counter where you can obtain food or drink
    “he bought a hot dog and a coke at the bar
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    cash bar
    a counter at a large party where you can purchase drinks by the glass
    oyster bar
    a bar (as in a restaurant) that specializes in oysters prepared in different ways
    salad bar
    a bar where diners can assemble a salad to their own taste
    buffet, snack bar, snack counter
    usually inexpensive bar
    soda fountain
    a counter where ice cream and sodas and sundaes are prepared and served
    sushi bar
    a bar where sushi is served
    wet bar
    a bar for mixing drinks that has a sink with running water
    wine bar
    a bar that serves only wine
    a snack bar in a film studio
    milk bar
    snack bar that sells milk drinks and light refreshments (such as ice cream)
    type of:
    table consisting of a horizontal surface over which business is transacted
  10. noun
    a room or establishment where alcoholic drinks are served over a counter
    synonyms: barroom, ginmill, saloon, taproom, watering hole
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    barrelhouse, honky-tonk
    a cheap drinking and dancing establishment
    cocktail lounge
    a barroom in a hotel or restaurant where cocktails are served
    sawdust saloon
    a saloon whose floor is covered with sawdust
    (during Prohibition) an illegal barroom
    type of:
    an area within a building enclosed by walls and floor and ceiling
  11. noun
    the act of preventing
    “there was no bar against leaving”
    synonyms: prevention
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    the act of preventing something from occurring
    the act of prevention by legal means
    the act of preventing someone from participating by finding them unqualified
    the act of intercepting; preventing something from proceeding or arriving
    non-proliferation, nonproliferation
    the prevention of something increasing or spreading (especially the prevention of an increase in the number of countries possessing nuclear weapons)
    forestalling, obviation, preclusion
    the act of preventing something by anticipating and disposing of it effectively
    the prevention of disease
    (sports) the act of preventing the opposition from scoring
    crushing, quelling, stifling, suppression
    forceful prevention; putting down by power or authority
    suspension, temporary removal
    a temporary debarment (from a privilege or position etc)
    recusal, recusation
    (law) the disqualification of a judge or jury by reason of prejudice or conflict of interest; a judge can be recused by objections of either party or judges can disqualify themselves
    severely repressive actions
    type of:
    hinderance, hindrance, interference
    the act of hindering or obstructing or impeding
  12. verb
    render unsuitable for passage
    synonyms: barricade, block, block off, block up, blockade, stop
    block, obstruct
    shut out from view or get in the way so as to hide from sight
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    block off, close off, shut off
    block off the passage through
    bar access to
    type of:
    block, close up, impede, jam, obstruct, obturate, occlude
    block passage through
  13. verb
    expel, as if by official decree
    synonyms: banish, relegate
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    stand in the way of
    type of:
    expel, kick out, throw out
    force to leave or move out
  14. verb
    prevent from entering; keep out
    “He was barred from membership in the club”
    synonyms: debar, exclude
  15. noun
    (meteorology) a unit of pressure equal to a million dynes per square centimeter
    “unfortunately some writers have used bar for one dyne per square centimeter”
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    type of:
    pressure unit
    a unit measuring force per unit area
  16. noun
    musical notation for a repeating pattern of musical beats
    “the orchestra omitted the last twelve bars of the song”
    synonyms: measure
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    type of:
    musical notation
    (music) notation used by musicians
  17. noun
    the body of individuals qualified to practice law in a particular jurisdiction
    “he was admitted to the bar in New Jersey”
    synonyms: legal community, legal profession
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    type of:
    the body of people in a learned occupation
  18. noun
    (law) a railing that encloses the part of the courtroom where the judges and lawyers sit and the case is tried
    “spectators were not allowed past the bar
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    type of:
    rail, railing
    a barrier consisting of a horizontal bar and supports




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