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barbecue sauce
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Barber Pole
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barber's itch
barber's pole

Barber definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

B'ARBER, n. One whose occupation is to shave men, or to shave and dress hair.
B'ARBER, v.t. To shave and dress hair.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: United States composer (1910-1981) [syn: Barber, Samuel Barber]
2: a hairdresser who cuts hair and shaves beards as a trade v
1: perform the services of a barber: cut the hair and/or beard of

Merriam Webster's

biographical name Samuel 1910-1981 American composer

Merriam Webster's

I. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French barbour, from barbe beard more at barb Date: 14th century one whose business is cutting and dressing hair, shaving and trimming beards, and performing related services II. verb (barbered; barbering) Date: 1606 transitive verb to perform the services of a barber for ; trim or groom the hair or beard of intransitive verb to perform the services of a barber

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. & v. --n. a person who cuts men's hair and shaves or trims beards as an occupation; a men's hairdresser. --v.tr. 1 cut the hair, shave or trim the beard of. 2 cut or trim closely (barbered the grass). Phrases and idioms: barber-shop (or barber-shop quartet) US colloq. a popular style of close harmony singing for four male voices. barber's pole a spirally painted striped red and white pole hung outside barbers' shops as a business sign. Etymology: ME & AF f. OF barbeor f. med.L barbator -oris f. barba beard

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Barber Bar"ber, n. (Meteor.) A storm accompanied by driving ice spicules formed from sea water, esp. one occurring on the Gulf of St. Lawrence; -- so named from the cutting ice spicules. [Canada]

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Barber Bar"ber, n. [OE. barbour, OF. barbeor, F. barbier, as if fr. an assumed L. barbator, fr. barba beard. See 1st Barb.] One whose occupation it is to shave or trim the beard, and to cut and dress the hair of his patrons. Barber's itch. See under Itch. Note: Formerly the barber practiced some offices of surgery, such as letting blood and pulling teeth. Hence such terms as barber surgeon ( old form barber chirurgeon), barber surgery, etc.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Barber Bar"ber, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Barbered (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Barbering.] To shave and dress the beard or hair of. --Shak.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(barbers) 1. A barber is a man whose job is cutting men's hair. ...a barber's shop in south London. N-COUNT 2. A barber's is a shop where a barber works. (BRIT; in AM, use barber shop) My Mum took me to the barber's. N-SING

Easton's Bible Dictionary

Found only once, in Ezek. 5:1, where reference is made to the Jewish custom of shaving the head as a sign of mourning. The Nazarites were untouched by the razor from their birth (Num. 6:5). Comp. Judg. 16:19.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


(1) The English word "barber" is from Latin barba, "beard" = a man who shaves the beard. Dressing and trimming the hair came to be added to his work. "Barber" is found only once English Versions of the Bible, in Eze 5:1, "Take thee a sharp sword; as a barber's razor shalt thou take it unto thee, and shalt cause it to pass upon thy head and upon thy beard" (compare Chaghigha' 4b, Shab, section 6).

(2) In Ge 41:14 we probably have a case of conformity to Egyptian, rather than Palestinian custom, where Joseph "shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh." It is known that Egyptians of the higher classes shaved the beard regularly and completely (as the Hittites, Elamites and early Babylonians seem to have done), except that fashion allowed, as an exception to the rule, a small tuft, or "goatee," under the chin.

(3) We learn from various Scriptural allusions, as well as from other sources (compare W. Max Muller, Asien und Europa, 296 ff), that the business of the oriental barber included, besides ceremonial shaving, the trimming and polling of the hair and the beard. Compare 2Sa 19:24 where it appears that the moustache (Hebrew sapham; the King James Version "beard") received regular trimming; and 1Sa 21:14, where the neglect of the beard is set down as a sign of madness.

That men wore wigs and false beards in ancient days, the latter showing the rank of the wearer, appears from Herodotus ii.36; iii.12; and Wilkinson, Anc. Egypt, II, 324, etc. Josephus, Vita, II, gives one case where false hair appears to have been used as an intentional disguise. See also Polyb. iii.78.

(4) The business of the barber (see Eze 5:1, "as a barber's razor shalt thou take it unto thee, and shalt cause it to pass upon thy head and upon thy beard"), outside of ceremonial shaving, may have consisted in trimming and polling the beard and the hair of the head. Of other nations with whom Israel of old came in contact, the Hittites and Elamites, it is now known, shaved the beard completely, as the earliest Babylonians also seem to have done.

(5) The prohibition enjoined in the Mosaic law upon "the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok" (Eze 44:15,20) forbidding either "shaving the head," or "suffering their locks to grow long," or shaving off the corners of their beard (Le 21:5), was clearly, in a sense peculiar to the priests, etc.: "They (the priests) shall only cut off," i.e. trim, not shave, "the hair of their heads" (Eze 44:20). But in the Apostolical Constitutions, I, 3, insistence is laid upon the Biblical prohibition as applicable to all as regards the removal of the beard (compare Clement of Alexandria, Paed., III, edition Migne, I, 580 f). Jerome on Eze 44:20 and some of the Jewish sages find the basis of this prohibition in the fact that God gave a beard to man to distinguish him from the woman--so, they reasoned, it is wrong thus to go against Nature (compare Bahya, on Le 19:27).

(6) In the Palestine of the Greek period, say in the 3rd century BC, when there was a large infusion of Hellenic population and influence, clipping of the beard prevailed in some circles, being omitted only in times of mourning, etc. The common people, however, seem to have seen little distinction between clipping the beard and shaving. But see pictures of captive Jews with clipped beard in the British Museum.


Benzinger, heb. Arch., 110; Nowack, Lehrbuch der Heb. Arch., 134; W. Max Muller, Asien und Europa, 296 ff.

George B. Eager

Foolish Dictionary

A brilliant conversationalist, who occasionally shaves and cuts hair. Syn. for Phonograph.

Moby Thesaurus

beautician, beautifier, bob, clipper, coif, coiffeur, coiffeuse, coiffure, conk, cropper, hairdresser, manicurist, pompadour, process, shaver, shingle, trim, wave


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