barb

Whether it is a spike on the wire atop a security fence or a mean remark someone said about you, a barb can hurt. When you encounter either kind of barb, you should stay away.

Barb comes from the Latin word barba, which means “beard.” Beards offer protection from things like cold and wind, but as Mommy found out when she kissed Santa Claus, they can also be quite scratchy. Perhaps this is why, when it comes to talking about beards, some people speak nothing but barbs.

Definitions of barb
  1. noun
    a subsidiary point facing opposite from the main point that makes an arrowhead or spear hard to remove
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    types:
    fluke
    a barb on a harpoon or arrow
    type of:
    point
    sharp end
  2. noun
    the pointed part of barbed wire
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    type of:
    point
    sharp end
  3. noun
    an aggressive remark directed at a person like a missile and intended to have a telling effect
    synonyms: dig, gibe, jibe, shaft, shot, slam
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    types:
    cheap shot
    an unnecessarily aggressive and unfair remark directed at a defenseless person
    type of:
    comment, input, remark
    a statement that expresses a personal opinion or belief or adds information
  4. verb
    provide with barbs
    barbed wire”
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    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  5. noun
    one of the parallel filaments projecting from the main shaft of a feather
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    type of:
    fibril, filament, strand
    a very slender natural or synthetic fiber
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