American English

Definition of bar noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    for drinks/food
  1. 1[countable] a place where you can buy and drink alcoholic and other drinks We met at a bar called the Flamingo. the island's only bar a cocktail bar The hotel has a restaurant, bar and swimming pool. see also barroom, minibar
  2. 2[countable] a long wide wooden surface where drinks, etc. are served She was sitting at the bar. It was so crowded I couldn't get to the bar.
  3. 3[countable] (especially in compounds) a place in which a particular kind of food or drink is the main thing that is served a sandwich bar a salad bar a coffee bar see also oxygen bar, raw bar, snack bar, wine bar
  4. of chocolate/soap
  5. 4[countable] a piece of something with straight sides a bar of chocolate/soap candy bars
  6. of metal/wood
  7. 5[countable] a long straight piece of metal or wood. Bars are often used to stop someone from getting through a space He smashed the window with an iron bar. All the ground-floor windows had bars on them. a five-bar gate (= one made with five horizontal bars of wood) see also roll bar, space bar, tow bar
  8. of color/light
  9. 6[countable] a band of color or light Bars of sunlight slanted down from the tall narrow windows.
  10. that prevents something
  11. 7[countable, usually singular] bar (to something) a thing that stops someone from doing something At that time being a woman was a bar to promotion in most professions. see also color bar
  12. in music
  13. 8(also measure) [countable] one of the short sections of equal length that a piece of music is divided into, and the notes that are in it four beats to the bar the opening bars of a piece of music
  14. law
  15. 9the bar [singular] the profession of any kind of lawyer to be admitted to the bar (= allowed to work as a lawyer) the bar exam (= the test you must pass to become a lawyer) You need to pass the bar if you really want to practice law. He is a member of theGeorgia State Bar. More Aboutlawyers Lawyer is a general term for a person who is qualified to advise people about the law, to prepare legal documents for them, and/or to represent them in a court of law. Attorney is a more formal word used for a lawyer and is used especially in job titles:district attorney Counsel is the formal legal word used for a lawyer who is representing someone in court:counsel for the prosecution After a lawyer passes the exam allowing him or her to represent someone in court in a particular state, you say that he or she has passed the bar or is a member of the bar in that state.
  16. measurement
  17. 10[countable] a unit for measuring the pressure of the atmosphere, equal to a hundred thousand newtons per square meter see also millibar
  18. in sports
  19. 11the bar [singular] the crossbar of a goal His shot hit the bar.
  20. Vocabulary Buildinga bar of chocolateIf you want to describe a whole unit of a particular substance, or a group of things that are normally together, for example when you buy them, you need to use the correct word. a bar of soap/chocolate; a candy bar a block of ice/stone/wood a bolt/roll/length of fabric a cube of ice/sugar; an ice/sugar cube a loaf of bread a slab of marble/concrete a stick of gum a bunch of bananas/grapes a bunch/bouquet of flowers a bundle of sticks a set/ring of keys a set of chairs/glasses/clothes/guitar strings a suite of furnitureIdioms
    behind bars (informal)
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    in prison The murderer is now safely behind bars.
    lower the bar
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    to set a new lower standard of quality or performance In the current economic climate we may need to lower the bar on quotas.
    raise the bar
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    to set a new, higher standard of quality or performance The factory has raised the bar on productivity, food safety, and quality. This latest computer game raises the bar for interface design. The awards go to people who have truly raised the bar. Perhaps the new admission requirements raised the bar too high.
    set the bar
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    to set a standard of quality or performance The show really sets the bar for artistic invention. Sofia sets the bar very high for what she expects of herself.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: bar