Definition of barge in English:

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Pronunciation: /bɑːdʒ/


1A long flat-bottomed boat for carrying freight on canals and rivers, either under its own power or towed by another.
Example sentences
  • During slack water, tugs tow freight barges and rafts of logs through the narrows with scant room to manoeuvre.
  • Over on the river, flat-bottomed barges being loaded with cargo and refugees headed off down the river.
  • Farmers throughout the Midwest and southern states ship their produce on barges down the Mississippi River to New Orleans, where they are loaded onto ocean-going vessels.
lighter, canal boat, flatboat;
British  narrowboat, wherry;
North American  scow
1.1A long ornamental boat used for pleasure or ceremony.
Example sentences
  • Minister O'Donoghue also spoke of the town as a popular boating centre and a base for the pleasure barges on the Barrow.
  • But like this horse-riding character, Eggers is not on a pleasure barge.
  • Many involved smaller boats, such as tugs, barges and fishing boats, in the Malacca Straits and Indonesian waters.
1.2A boat used by the chief officers of a warship.
Example sentences
  • The last anyone heard of him he was an oarsman on an officer's barge.
  • We came over in the barge to the Hall with his Excellency, the ladies and the officers.
  • Exhibits include an officers barge captured during the French invasion of 1796.


1 [no object, with adverbial of direction] Move forcefully or roughly: we can’t just barge into a private garden
More example sentences
  • When you eventually wise up, faux police barge into your hotel and demand massive bribes in exchange for your freedom.
  • According to the police, the activists allegedly tried to barge into the theatre on Sankey Road.
  • She said she and the electrocardiogram technician argued regularly because the technician would often barge into her consulting room while Langley was seeing patients.
push, shove, force, elbow, shoulder, jostle, bludgeon, bulldoze, muscle
1.1 (barge in) Intrude or interrupt rudely or awkwardly: sorry to barge in on your cosy evening
More example sentences
  • Mid-interview, his adopted son, Michael, noisily interrupts as he barged in with a few friends clutching a bunch of bananas.
  • It is true that nowadays people are less willing to wait and more people than ever seem to barge in rudely and think nothing of it.
  • I told the angel of my intentions and asked forgiveness for barging in so rudely before.
burst in, break in, butt in, cut in, interrupt, intervene, intrude, encroach;
informal horn in
1.2 [with object] (Chiefly in a sporting context) run into and collide with (someone), typically intentionally: you can use this method to barge an opponent just barge the other skater off the ball
More example sentences
  • As the France international defender pulled up to allow the ball to run out of play, Beattie first barged his opponent and then butted him in the back of the head.
  • The powerful striker barged his man out the way before bravely stretching to toe poke the ball past keeper Phil Naisbett for his first strike in five months.
  • Or Bobo Balde crazily barging David Clarkson off the ball as the Motherwell man bounded into the box four minutes later to concede a penalty slotted away by Richie Forlan for an equaliser.
2 [with object] Convey (freight) by barge.
Example sentences
  • These considerations can include barging equipment to the site, building a log dump and skids, or a dryland sort, checking for rock cuts, end haul areas and spoil sites, and the installation of bridges.
  • Harvested logs are trucked to a sort south west of Sandspit where they are sorted and put in the water before being barged to Howe Sound, near Vancouver.
  • The aircraft were barged to Hawaii, an epic journey in itself, for the main portion of the aerial filming.


Middle English (denoting a small seagoing vessel): from Old French, perhaps based on Greek baris 'Egyptian boat'.

  • A barge was originally a small seagoing vessel rather than a flat-bottomed boat for carrying freight. The word is French and probably comes ultimately from Greek baris, which referred to a kind of Egyptian boat used on the Nile. The sense ‘move forcefully or roughly’ (late 19th century) refers to the way a heavily laden, unwieldy barge might collide with the bank or other traffic. If you wouldn't touch something with a bargepole you refuse to have anything to do with it. The equivalent expression in America says that you wouldn't touch something with a ten-foot pole.

Words that rhyme with barge

charge, enlarge, large, marge, raj, reportage, sarge, sparge, Swaraj, taj, undercharge

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: barge

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