Definition of fence in English:

fence

Line breaks: fence
Pronunciation: /fɛns
 
/

noun

  • 1A barrier, railing, or other upright structure, typically of wood or wire, enclosing an area of ground to prevent or control access or escape.
    More example sentences
    • South Korean news agency Yonhap said the group cut through a wire fence to gain access to the school grounds in a northern suburb of Beijing early Friday.
    • They broke the wire fence to the play area along with the overflow pipe to the drinking fountain.
    • Very good control using a wire fence is essential for any kind of utilisation.
    Synonyms
    barrier, paling, railing, rail, bar, hurdle, enclosure; wall, hedge, hedgerow, windbreak, groyne, partition; barricade, stockade, palisade, rampart, protection, defence
    rare circumvallation
  • 1.1A large upright obstacle in steeplechasing, showjumping, or cross-country.
    More example sentences
    • Lake was injured when his mount jumped poorly at the next-to-last fence during a novice hurdle race and unseated him.
    • A chase involves larger, rigid fences while a hurdle race is run over shorter, more flexible obstacles.
    • On the second circuit, these two fences are bypassed and the last obstacle has no fence on it at all.
  • 2A guard or guide on a plane, saw, or other tool.
    More example sentences
    • This leaves a short side surface at right angles to the rear of the strip, adequate for guiding the fence of the cornice plane.
    • The fence of this plane is guided by the drawer side, and the depth stop sets the distance to be cut into the side of the drawer.
    • The fence of a plow plane must be held firmly at the chosen distance from its stock if the tool is to function properly.
  • 3 informal A person who deals in stolen goods.
    More example sentences
    • There he meets up with the wily Artful Dodger who takes him to thief and fence Fagin, who is in charge of a gang of young pickpockets.
    • For Polanski portrays the fence Fagin and his gang of children who steal silk handkerchiefs, pocket watches and wallets in a far more sympathetic light than the authorities.
    Synonyms
    receiver of stolen goods, dealer in stolen goods; receiver, dealer, trafficker
    informal pusher

verb

[with object] Back to top  
  • 2 informal Buy or sell (stolen goods): after stealing your ring, he didn’t even know how to fence it
    More example sentences
    • However, unknown to her friends and neighbours, she was running a seaside syndicate of burglars who stole to order and used her shop to fence the goods.
    • You then made a business of fencing the goods you asked him to steal at your store for profit.
    • Policemen need to be out there checking on pawnbrokers and second-hand dealers, because they know who is fencing the goods.
    Synonyms
    receive stolen goods, deal in stolen goods

Phrases

mend (one's) fences

see mend.

over the fence

Australian /NZ informal Unreasonable or unacceptable.

side of the fence

Used to refer to either of the opposing positions or interests involved in a particular situation: whatever side of the fence you are on, the debate on conventional versus organic farming is not going to disappear
More example sentences
  • Now, we're on the opposite side of the fence - we're selling the little house we've grown to love.
  • You were a media planner, and handled the media campaigns of other models, so what did you learn from the other side of the fence?
  • In 1994 they had been on the other side of the fence, yet, today they all sit next to each other peacefully in church.

sit on the fence

Avoid making a decision or choice.
More example sentences
  • But he's going to make change and he's going to bring a lot of confidence to a lot of people who are sitting on the fence with the same decision.
  • You should make a decision; you cannot sit on the fence.
  • If that brings to mind a lot of dithering and sitting on the fence, you couldn't be more wrong.
Synonyms
undecided, uncommitted, uncertain, unsure, vacillating, wavering, dithering, hesitant, tentative, doubtful, irresolute, ambivalent, torn, in two minds, in a dilemma, on the horns of a dilemma, in a quandary; abstaining; neutral, impartial, non-aligned, non-partisan, unbiased, open-minded; British humming and hawing
informal iffy, blowing hot and cold

Derivatives

fenceless

adjective
More example sentences
  • Apart from the gate leading to the four-car garage, the house has no other fence except for the around two-meter-high outer wall, topped by a fenceless garden that is accessible through a narrow flight of entrance stairs.
  • The close proximity of the buildings, with fenceless front lawns divided only by driveways, give it a suburban feel - particularly with gleaming cars parked in the en-suite garages.
  • His route comes within 50 feet of where I'm standing, just beyond the fenceless boundary at South Fork.

fencer

noun
More example sentences
  • "Our female fencers did so well and clinched all gold medals in the women's events," he said.
  • The Scottish team of 15 to 20 fencers will have to pay around £2000 each to represent their country.
  • Because of its lighter weight, the small sword made it possible for fencers to do more complex defensive movements.

Origin

Middle English (in the sense 'defending, defence'): shortening of defence. Compare with fencible and fend.

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