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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
barb
noun
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ Abel, for example, is obviously a Democrat, as he slipped more than a few anti-Reagan barbs into his presentation.
▪ Everybody liked grandmotherly Barbara Bush, who kept her wicked barbs private and mostly stayed out of public political combat.
▪ His jeering remarks had hidden barbs, and just went to prove how little he cared either way.
▪ The performance had the legislature, including the subjects of the barbs, rocking with laughter.
▪ We thrive on the superficial barb, and shrink from the deeper, more complex, less titillating ambiguities of an issue.
▪ Yesterday, Mrs Aquino aimed her sharpest barbs at her civilian enemies.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
barb

Kingfish \King"fish`\ (k[i^]ng"f[i^]sh`), n. (Zo["o]l.)

  1. An American marine food fish of the genus Menticirrus, especially Menticirrus saxatilis, or Menticirrus nebulosos, of the Atlantic coast; -- called also whiting, surf whiting, and barb.

  2. The opah.

  3. The common cero; also, the spotted cero. See Cero.

  4. The queenfish.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
barb

late 14c., "barb of an arrow," from Old French barbe (11c.) "beard, beardlike appendage," from Latin barba "beard," perhaps cognate with Old English beard (see beard (n.)).

barb

late 15c., "to clip, mow;" see barb (n.). Meaning "to fit or furnish with barbs" is from 1610s. Related: Barbed; barbing.

Wiktionary
barb

Etymology 1 n. 1 The point that stands backward in an arrow, fishhook, etc., to prevent it from being easily extracted. Hence: Anything which stands out with a sharp point obliquely or crosswise to something else. 2 (context figuratively English) A hurtful or disparaging remark. 3 A beard, or that which resembles it, or grows in the place of it. 4 armor for a horse, corrupted from bard. 5 (context ornithology English) One of the side branches of a feather, which collectively constitute the vane. 6 (context zoology English) Several species of freshwater fish of the cyprinid family. 7 (context zoology English) A southern name for the kingfishes of the eastern and southeastern coasts of the United States; also improperly called whiting. 8 (context botany English) A hair or bristle ending in a double hook. 9 (context zoology English) A blackish or dun variety of the pigeon, originally brought from Barbary. 10 (context obsolete English) A muffler, worn by nuns and mourners. 11 pap, or little projections, of the mucous membrane, which mark the opening of the submaxillary glands under the tongue in horses and cattle. The name is mostly applied when the barbs are inflamed and swollen. [Written also barbel and barble.] 12 (context obsolete English) A bit for a horse. 13 A plastic fastener, shaped roughly like a capital I (with serifs), used to attach socks etc. to their packaging. vb. 1 To furnish with barbs, or with that which will hold or hurt like barbs, as an arrow, fishhook, spear, etc. 2 To cover a horse in armor, corrupted from bard. 3 (lb en obsolete) To shave or dress the beard of. 4 (lb en obsolete) To clip; to mow. Etymology 2

n. 1 The Barbary horse, a superior breed introduced from Barbary into Spain by the Moors. 2 A blackish or dun variety of pigeon, originally brought from Barbary.

WordNet
barb
  1. n. an aggressive remark directed at a person like a missile and intended to have a telling effect; "his parting shot was `drop dead'"; "she threw shafts of sarcasm"; "she takes a dig at me every chance she gets" [syn: shot, shaft, slam, dig, jibe, gibe]

  2. the pointed part of barbed wire

  3. a subsidiary point facing opposite from the main point that makes an arrowhead or spear hard to remove

  4. one of the parallel filaments projecting from the main shaft of a feather

barb
  1. v. provide with barbs; "barbed wire"

  2. provide with barbs; "barbed wire"

Wikipedia
Barb (fish)

A barb is one of various ray-finned fish species in a non- phylogenetic group, with members in the family Cyprinidae, and especially the genera Barbus and Puntius, but many others also. They were formerly united with the barbels in the subfamilyBarbinae, but that group is paraphyletic with the Cyprininae. If the Labeoninae are recognized as distinct, many small African "barbs" would probably, however, warrant recognition as a new subfamily.

The root of the word "barb" is common in cyprinid names of European languages, from the Latinbarba ("beard") ( COD):

  • barbi from Finnish
  • barbo from Spanish
  • barbeau from French
  • barbo from Italian

and many others. This is in reference to the barbels which are prominently seen around the mouth of many "barbs".

Usage examples of "barb".

Grand Dame Alpha, Michael highly doubted the accuracy of that last barb.

She caught a glimpse of the Roman aqueduct and the massive ramparts of the Crusader City, and then she was following the old coastal road past the Dan Caesarea Hotel with its 18-hole golf course secured behind a perimeter of high fence and concertina barbed wire.

Dark Horse Entertainment Production, Barb Wire, starring Playboy cover-queen and babelicious Baywatch star Pamela Anderson Lee.

Do you not have some enemy to go bedevil, lop off a head or two, or something equally unfeminine, and leave innocents like me free of your word barbs?

He came upon rattan or bejuco thickets, where thorns, pointing down the stems like barbs on a fish-hook, snatched at his clothes and clung to them too.

A handful of bigger shapes moved on the ground, grinding through American barbed wire and into the U.

The first night was a great success, there was not a whisper of protest from the Boche, and we had cut through an almost continuous line, adequately protected by concertina barbed wire, and particularly strengthened at various points where posts had to be held during the next day.

I cruised the bad boogaloo streets until I spotted the car that tried to ram meparked behind a cinderblock dump circled by barbed wire.

I cruised the bad boogaloo streets until I spotted the car that tried to ram me-parked behind a cinderblock dump circled by barbed wire.

Kicking, the darsteed bugled its frustration and lashed its barbed tail from side to side.

They are fleshy shrubs, with rounded, woody stems, and numerous succulent branches, composed in most of the species of separate joints or parts, which are much compressed, often elliptic or suborbicular, dotted over in spiral lines with small, fleshy, caducous leaves, in the axils of which are placed the areoles or tufts of barbed or hooked spines of two forms.

Chance wrenched open the front door and made one stride before he managed to bring himself to a halt, his face scratched, his clothes caught in the barbs of coiled dannert wire piled high in the porch and across the narrow strip between the railings and the front window.

It is a thing well known to both American and English whale-ships, and as well a thing placed upon authoritative record years ago by Scoresby, that some whales have been captured far north in the Pacific, in whose bodies have been found the barbs of harpoons darted in the Greenland seas.

Celsus instructs that in extracting arrow-heads the entrance-wound should be dilated, the barb of the arrow-head crushed by strong pliers, or protected between the edges of a split reed, and thus withdrawn without laceration of the soft parts.

The Dobe hesitated at the fence for an instant, but when Train had the top strand of barbed wire held down, he snapped his fingers and Gutter cleared the fence in a single smooth bound.