bar (n.1)

late 12c., "stake or rod of iron used to fasten a door or gate," from Old French barre "beam, bar, gate, barrier" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *barra "bar, barrier," which some suggest is from Gaulish *barros "the bushy end" [Gamillscheg, etc.], but OED regards this as "discredited" because it "in no way suits the sense."

General sense of "anything which obstructs, hinders, or impedes" is from 1530s. Of soap, by 1833; of candy, by 1906 (the process itself dates to the 1840s), both from resemblance of shape. Meaning "bank of sand across a harbor or river mouth" is from 1580s, probably so called because it was an obstruction to navigation. Bar graph is attested from 1925. Bar code first recorded 1963. Behind bars "in prison" is attested by 1934, American English. Welsh bar "a bar, rail," Irish barra "a bar, spike" are said to be from English; German Barre, Danish barre, Russian barŭ are from Medieval Latin or Romanic.

bar (n.2)

"tavern," 1590s, so called in reference to the bars of the barrier or counter over which drinks or food were served to customers (see bar (n.1)).

bar (n.3)

"whole body of lawyers, the legal profession," 1550s, a sense which derives ultimately from the railing that separated benchers from the hall in the Inns of Court (see bar (n.1)). Students who had attained a certain standing were "called" to it to take part in the important exercises of the house. After c. 1600, however, this was popularly assumed to mean the bar in a courtroom, the wooden railing marking off the area around the judge's seat, where prisoners stood for arraignment and where a barrister (q.v.) stood to plead. As the place where the business of court was done, bar in this sense had become synonymous with court by early 14c.

bar (n.4)

unit of pressure, coined 1903 from Greek baros "weight," which is related to barys "heavy," from PIE root *gwere- (1) "heavy."

bar (v.)

c. 1300, "to fasten (a gate, etc.) with a bar," from bar (n.1); sense of "to obstruct, prevent" is recorded by 1570s. Expression bar none "without exception" is recorded from 1866.

updated on December 05, 2018

Definitions of bar from WordNet
bar (n.)
a room or establishment where alcoholic drinks are served over a counter;
he drowned his sorrows in whiskey at the bar
Synonyms: barroom / saloon / ginmill / taproom
bar (n.)
a counter where you can obtain food or drink;
he bought a hot dog and a coke at the bar
bar (n.)
a rigid piece of metal or wood; usually used as a fastening or obstruction or weapon;
there were bars in the windows to prevent escape
bar (n.)
musical notation for a repeating pattern of musical beats;
the orchestra omitted the last twelve bars of the song
Synonyms: measure
bar (n.)
an obstruction (usually metal) placed at the top of a goal;
it was an excellent kick but the ball hit the bar
bar (n.)
the act of preventing;
there was no bar against leaving
Synonyms: prevention
bar (n.)
(meteorology) a unit of pressure equal to a million dynes per square centimeter;
unfortunately some writers have used bar for one dyne per square centimeter
bar (n.)
a submerged (or partly submerged) ridge in a river or along a shore;
the boat ran aground on a submerged bar in the river
bar (n.)
the body of individuals qualified to practice law in a particular jurisdiction;
he was admitted to the bar in New Jersey
Synonyms: legal profession / legal community
bar (n.)
a narrow marking of a different color or texture from the background;
a green toad with small black stripes or bars
Synonyms: stripe / streak
bar (n.)
a block of solid substance (such as soap or wax);
a bar of chocolate
Synonyms: cake
bar (n.)
a portable .30 caliber automatic rifle operated by gas pressure and fed by cartridges from a magazine; used by United States troops in World War I and in World War II and in the Korean War;
Synonyms: Browning automatic rifle
bar (n.)
a horizontal rod that serves as a support for gymnasts as they perform exercises;
bar (n.)
a heating element in an electric fire;
an electric fire with three bars
bar (n.)
(law) a railing that encloses the part of the courtroom where the judges and lawyers sit and the case is tried;
spectators were not allowed past the bar
bar (v.)
prevent from entering; keep out;
He was barred from membership in the club
Synonyms: debar / exclude
bar (v.)
render unsuitable for passage;
Synonyms: barricade / block / blockade / stop / block off / block up
bar (v.)
expel, as if by official decree;
Synonyms: banish / relegate
bar (v.)
secure with, or as if with, bars;
He barred the door
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.