American English

Definition of barrier noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1an object like a fence that prevents people from moving forward from one place to another The crowd had to stand behind barriers. Show your ticket at the barrier. The car crashed into the safety barrier and burst into flames.
  2. 2a problem, rule, or situation that prevents someone from doing something, or that makes something impossible the removal of trade barriers The act of learning knows no age barriers. barrier to something Lack of confidence is a psychological barrier to success. Cost should not be a barrier to the use of legal services. Topic CollocationsInternational Relationstrade facilitate/regulate trade (with other countries) form/join a trading bloc live in/compete in a global/the world economy support/promote free trade adopt/call for/oppose protectionist measures erect/impose/reduce/remove trade barriers impose/lift/raise/eliminate import tariffs (on something) have/run a huge/large/growing trade surplus/deficit embrace/resist/drive globalizationpolitics and law handle/talk about/discuss foreign policy pursue an aggressive/a hawkish foreign policy require/use/conduct diplomacy establish/break off/sever/restore diplomatic relations/ties foster/promote/strengthen regional cooperation facilitate/achieve economic/political integration exercise/defend/protect/transfer/restore/regain national/state/full/limited sovereignty consolidate/extend/lose/retain your power (in the region) hold/maintain/change/alter/shift the balance of power (in the region) cause/create/open/expose/heal/repair a deep/growing/major/serious rift between X and Ymeetings and agreements have/hold/host/attend an international conference/an economic forum/a G20 summit lead/launch a new round of global/multilateral/world trade negotiations send/head/lead/meet a high-level/an official/a trade delegation facilitate/begin/start/continue/resume peace talks be committed to/be opposed to/disrupt/undermine/derail/sabotage the peace process negotiate/achieve a lasting political settlement broker/sign a peace deal/agreement/treatyconflict be/constitute/pose a threat to global security compromise/endanger/protect national security justify/be in favor of/support/be against/oppose military intervention threaten/authorize/launch/take/support/oppose unilateral/preemptive military action impose/enforce/lift/end economic sanctions/an arms embargo/a naval blockade close/protect/secure/patrol the border lead/be involved in a peacekeeping operationaid negotiate/announce a $15 billion aid package/an economic stimulus package send/provide/request/cut off military aid bring/provide emergency/humanitarian relief deliver/distribute medical supplies/food supplies fund/run a foreign/a local/an international NGO reduce/eradicate/combat/fight child/global/world poverty
  3. 3something that exists between one thing or person and another and keeps them separate The Yangtze river is a natural barrier to the northeast. the language barrier (= when people cannot communicate because they do not speak the same language) barrier between A and B There was no real barrier between reality and fantasy in his mind. barrier against something Ozone is the earth's barrier against ultraviolet radiation. synonyms at border
  4. 4a particular amount, level, or number which it is difficult to get past the first player whose earnings passed the $10 million barrier
  5. Thesaurusborderboundary frontier barrierThese are all words for a line that marks the edge of something and separates it from other areas or things.border the line that separates two countries or areas; the land near this line:a national park on the border between Montana and Wyomingboundary a line that marks the edges of an area of land and separates it from other areas:The fence marked the boundary between my property and hers.border or boundary?The point where you cross from one country to another is usually called the border. The line on a map that shows the border of a country can be called the boundary, but “boundary” is not used when you cross from one country to another:After the war, the national boundaries were redrawn. Thousands of immigrants cross the boundary every day.Boundary can also be a physical line between two places, for example between property belonging to two different people, marked by a fence or wall:the boundary fence/wall between the propertiesfrontier the border between two countries or areas; a line that marks the beginning of an unexplored or dangerous area:the frontier between Guatemala and Mexico The Ingalls family crossed the frontier in a covered wagon.barrier something that exists between two places and prevents easy movement between them:The mountains form a natural barrier between the ocean and the desert.Patterns across/along/on/over a/the border/boundary/frontier/barrier at the boundary/frontier/barrier the border/boundary/frontier with a place the northern/southern/eastern/western border/boundary/frontier a national/common/disputed border/boundary/frontier
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: barrier