bar


bar

<, but OED regards this as "discredited" because it "in no way suits the sense." Of soap, by 1833; of candy, by 1906 (the process itself dates to the 1840s). 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, U.S.

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)).

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. 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, which was 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.

n.4

unit of pressure, coined 1903 from Greek baros “weight,” from barys “heavy” (see grave (adj.)).

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.

1876, in reference to chords played on a guitar, etc., from French, literally “bar” (see bar (n.1)).

n.

  1. The international unit of pressure equal to 1 megadyne (106 dyne) per square centimeter or 0.987 atmosphere.
  2. A metal segment of greater length than width which serves to connect two or more parts of a removable partial denture.
  3. A segment of tissue or a tight cellular junction that serves to constrict the passage of fluid, usually urine.

pref.

  1. Weight; pressure:baroreceptor.

  1. A unit used to measure atmospheric pressure. It is equal to a force of 100,000 newtons per square meter of surface area, or 0.987 atmosphere.
  2. An elongated, offshore ridge of sand, gravel, or other unconsolidated sediment, formed by the action of waves or long-shore currents and submerged at least during high tide. Bars are especially common near the mouths of rivers or estuaries.
  3. A ridgelike mound of sand, gravel or silt formed within a stream, along its banks, or at its mouth. Bars form where the stream’s current slows down, causing sediment to be deposited.

In addition to the idiom beginning with bar

  • bare bones
  • bare hands, with one’s
  • bare necessities
  • bare one’s soul
  • bare one’s teeth
  • barge in
  • bar none

also see:

  • behind bars
  • no holds barred

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