barbed wire

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barbed wire,

wire composed of two zinc-coated steel strands twisted together and having barbs spaced regularly along them. The need for barbed wire arose in the 19th cent. as the American frontier moved westward into the Great Plains and traditional fencefence
[short for defense], humanly erected barrier between two divisions of land, used to mark a legal or other boundary, to keep animals or people in or out, and sometimes as an ornament. In newly settled lands fences are usually made of materials at hand, e.g.
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 materials—wooden rails and stone—became scarce and expensive. Of the many early types of barbed wire, that invented in Illinois in 1873 by Joseph F. Glidden proved most popular. The advent of barbed-wire fences on the plains transformed the cattle industry, ending the open range to a large extent and making possible the introduction of blooded cattle. The transformation was not without protests, which often led to bloodshed. In the 20th cent. barbed wire gained importance as an instrument of defense through its use in wartime for entanglements and obstacles. Barbed-wire fences have been replaced in some applications by other types, e.g., woven-wire fences.

barbed wire

[′bärb ′dwī·ər]
Two or more wires twisted together with addition of sharp hooks or points (or a single wire furnished with barbs); used for fences. Also known as barbwire.

barbed wire, barbwire

Two or more wires twisted together with sharp hooks or points (or a single wire furnished with barbs); used for fences.
References in periodicals archive ?
It was a brand new piece of barbed wire about four or five feet from the ground.
She looked like a chicken carcass at the end of your Sunday roast, all wrapped in barbed wire and so skinny.
but to the brand-new barbed wire fence of Tule Lake.
Razor-barbed wire is far sharper than normal barbed wire and is designed to rip and grab onto clothing and skin.
The 53-year-old said the barbed wire was barely visible and almost "camouflaged" against the greenery.
Historians say barbed wire influenced life in the region as dramatically as firearms, the telegraph, and the steam locomotive.
Budney said he put up barbed wire to keep the occasional stray cow out of his yard some time ago.
Barbed wire is not on my list, even though for decades it made the cheapest kind of fence and a lot of people still think it's the only affordable game in town.
The people were displaced due to the erection of barbed wire fencing along the Indo-Bangladesh border.
At first glance, her latest role, as therapist Cassie Manson in ITV's update to the 1970s hit series Bouquet Of Barbed Wire, bears some similarities.
The 17-year-old fears she may be scarred for life from the 63 cuts she received when she crashed her bike into a barbed wire fence.
A handful of vintage black-and-white photographs and illustrations enhance Barbed Wire: The Fence That Changed the West, the remarkable true history of how the invention of the barbed wire fence transformed America.