Meaning of fence

fence

Pronunciation: (fens), [key]
— n., v., fenced, fenc•ing.
—n.
  1. a barrier enclosing or bordering a field, yard, etc., usually made of posts and wire or wood, used to prevent entrance, to confine, or to mark a boundary.
  2. a person who receives and disposes of stolen goods.
  3. the place of business of such a person.
  4. the act, practice, art, or sport of fencing.
  5. skill in argument, repartee, etc.
  6. a guard or guide, as for regulating the movements of a tool or work.
  7. a slotted guide used esp. with a framing square to lay out cuts on rafters and staircase strings.
  8. a means of defense; a bulwark.
  9. to strengthen or reestablish one's position by conciliation or negotiation: One could tell by his superficially deferential manner that he was trying to mend his fences.
  10. uncommitted; neutral; undecided: The party leaders are still on the fence.
—v.t.
  1. to enclose by some barrier, establishing exclusive right to possession: to fence a farm.
  2. to separate by or as by a fence or fences (often fol. by in, off, out, etc.): to fence off a corner of one's yard; to fence out unwholesome influences.
  3. to defend; protect; guard: The president was fenced by bodyguards wherever he went.
  4. to ward off; keep out.
  5. to sell (stolen goods) to a fence.
  6. to reinforce (an opening in a sail or the like) by sewing on a grommet or other device.
—v.i.
  1. to practice the art or sport of fencing.
  2. to parry arguments; strive to avoid giving direct answers; hedge: The mayor fenced when asked if he would run again.
  3. (of a horse) to leap over a fence.
  4. to raise a defense.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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