A fence is a usually wooden or metal structure that encloses a yard, pasture, or other area. Many people with back yard swimming pools put fences around them to make sure small children don’t fall in.

The difference between a fence and a wall is that you can almost always see through a fence, at least to some degree, while a wall is solid. You can use fence as a verb too: “I think I’ll fence my yard in, because my chickens keep wandering off.” If someone calls you a fence, though, they mean you’re selling stolen goods, and if you fence professionally, you participate in the sword fighting sport of fencing.

Definitions of fence
  1. noun

    a barrier that serves to enclose an area

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    (baseball) a fence or screen (as behind home plate) to prevent the ball from traveling out of the playing field
    chainlink fence

    a fence of steel wires woven into a diamond pattern
    hedge, hedgerow

    a fence formed by a row of closely planted shrubs or bushes
    paling, picket fence

    a fence made of upright pickets
    rail fence

    a fence (usually made of split logs laid across each other at an angle)
    stone wall

    a fence built of rough stones; used to separate fields

    a masonry fence (as around an estate or garden)

    a fence or wattle built across a stream to catch or retain fish
    dry wall, dry-stone wall

    a stone wall made with stones fitted together without mortar
    party wall

    a wall erected on the line between two properties and shared by both owners
    privet hedge

    hedge of privet plants
    retaining wall

    a wall that is built to resist lateral pressure (especially a wall built to prevent the advance of a mass of earth)
    shelterbelt, windbreak

    hedge or fence of trees designed to lessen the force of the wind and reduce erosion
    Virginia fence, snake fence, snake-rail fence, worm fence

    rail fence consisting of a zigzag of interlocking rails
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    a structure or object that impedes free movement

  2. verb

    surround with an enclosure

    fenced in our yard”
    fence in
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    type of:

    close in, enclose, inclose, shut in

    surround completely

  3. verb

    surround with a wall in order to fortify

    fence in, palisade, surround, wall
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    surround with a stockade in order to fortify

    surround with or as if with a rampart or other fortification
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    protect, secure

    shield from danger, injury, destruction, or damage

  4. noun

    a dealer in stolen property

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    type of:

    bargainer, dealer, monger, trader

    someone who purchases and maintains an inventory of goods to be sold

  5. verb

    deal stolen goods

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    type of:

    have, receive

    get something; come into possession of

  6. verb

    fight with sword-like foils

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    block, deflect, parry

    impede the movement of (an opponent or a ball)
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    contend, fight, struggle

    be engaged in a fight; carry on a fight

  7. verb

    have an argument about something

    argue, contend, debate
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    dispute or argue stubbornly (especially minor points)

    fight verbally
    bicker, brabble, niggle, pettifog, quibble, squabble

    argue over petty things
    altercate, argufy, dispute, quarrel, scrap

    have a disagreement over something

    be against; express opposition to
    brawl, wrangle

    quarrel noisily, angrily or disruptively

    engage in a brief and petty quarrel
    polemicise, polemicize, polemise, polemize

    engage in a controversy
    fall out

    have a breach in relations
    contend, contest, repugn

    make the subject of dispute, contention, or litigation
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    converse, discourse

    carry on a conversation

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