A fence is a usually wooden or metal structure that encloses a yard, pasture, or other area. Many people with back yard swimming pools put fences around them to make sure small children don't fall in.

The difference between a fence and a wall is that you can almost always see through a fence, at least to some degree, while a wall is solid. You can use fence as a verb too: "I think I'll fence my yard in, because my chickens keep wandering off." If someone calls you a fence, though, they mean you're selling stolen goods, and if you fence professionally, you participate in the sword fighting sport of fencing.

Primary Meanings of fence

a barrier that serves to enclose an area
surround with an enclosure
a dealer in stolen property
deal stolen goods
fight with sword-like foils
Full Definitions of fence

n a barrier that serves to enclose an area

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(baseball) a fence or screen (as behind home plate) to prevent the ball from traveling out of the playing field
chainlink fence
a fence of steel wires woven into a diamond pattern
hedge, hedgerow
a fence formed by a row of closely planted shrubs or bushes
paling, picket fence
a fence made of upright pickets
rail fence
a fence (usually made of split logs laid across each other at an angle)
stone wall
a fence built of rough stones; used to separate fields
a masonry fence (as around an estate or garden)
a fence or wattle built across a stream to catch or retain fish
dry wall, dry-stone wall
a stone wall made with stones fitted together without mortar
party wall
a wall erected on the line between two properties and shared by both owners
privet hedge
hedge of privet plants
retaining wall
a wall that is built to resist lateral pressure (especially a wall built to prevent the advance of a mass of earth)
shelterbelt, windbreak
hedge or fence of trees designed to lessen the force of the wind and reduce erosion
Virginia fence, snake fence, snake-rail fence, worm fence
rail fence consisting of a zigzag of interlocking rails
Type of:
a structure or object that impedes free movement

v surround with an enclosure

“we fenced in our yard”
fence in
Type of:
close in, enclose, inclose, shut in
surround completely

v surround with a wall in order to fortify

fence in, palisade, surround, wall
surround with a stockade in order to fortify
surround with or as if with a rampart or other fortification
Type of:
shield from danger, injury, destruction, or damage

n a dealer in stolen property

Type of:
bargainer, dealer, monger, trader
someone who purchases and maintains an inventory of goods to be sold

v deal stolen goods

Type of:
have, receive
get something; come into possession of

v fight with sword-like foils

block, deflect, parry
impede the movement of (an opponent or a ball)
Type of:
contend, fight, struggle
be engaged in a fight; carry on a fight

v have an argument about something

argue, contend, debate
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dispute or argue stubbornly (especially minor points)
fight verbally
bicker, brabble, niggle, pettifog, quibble, squabble
argue over petty things
altercate, argufy, dispute, quarrel, scrap
have a disagreement over something
be against; express opposition to
brawl, wrangle
to quarrel noisily, angrily or disruptively
engage in a brief and petty quarrel
polemicise, polemicize, polemise, polemize
engage in a controversy
fall out
have a breach in relations
contend, contest, repugn
to make the subject of dispute, contention, or litigation
Type of:
converse, discourse
carry on a conversation

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