Fence, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Fenced p. pr. & vb. n. Fencing ]
1. To fend off danger from; to give security to; to protect; to guard.
To fence my ear against thy sorceries. --Milton.
2. To inclose with a fence or other protection; to secure by an inclosure.
O thou wall! . . . dive in the earth,
And fence not Athens. --Shak.
A sheepcote fenced about with olive trees. --Shak.
To fence the tables Scot. Church, to make a solemn address to those who present themselves to commune at the Lord's supper, on the feelings appropriate to the service, in order to hinder, so far as possible, those who are unworthy from approaching the table. --McCheyne.
Fence v. i.
1. To make a defense; to guard one's self of anything, as against an attack; to give protection or security, as by a fence.
Vice is the more stubborn as well as the more dangerous evil, and therefore, in the first place, to be fenced against. --Locke.
2. To practice the art of attack and defense with the sword or with the foil, esp. with the smallsword, using the point only.
He will fence with his own shadow. --Shak.
3. Hence, to fight or dispute in the manner of fencers, that is, by thrusting, guarding, parrying, etc.
They fence and push, and, pushing, loudly roar;
Their dewlaps and their sides are bat░ed in gore. --Dryden.
As when a billow, blown against,
Falls back, the voice with which I fenced
A little ceased, but recommenced. --Tennyson.
1. That which fends off attack or danger; a defense; a protection; a cover; security; shield.
Let us be backed with God and with the seas,
Which he hath given for fence impregnable. --Shak.
A fence betwixt us and the victor's wrath. --Addison.
2. An inclosure about a field or other space, or about any object; especially, an inclosing structure of wood, iron, or other material, intended to prevent intrusion from without or straying from within.
Leaps o'er the fence with ease into the fold. --Milton.
Note: ☞ In England a hedge, ditch, or wall, as well as a structure of boards, palings, or rails, is called a fence.
3. Locks A projection on the bolt, which passes through the tumbler gates in locking and unlocking.
4. Self-defense by the use of the sword; the art and practice of fencing and sword play; hence, skill in debate and repartee. See Fencing.
Enjoy your dear wit, and gay rhetoric,
That hath so well been taught her dazzing fence. --Milton.
Of dauntless courage and consummate skill in fence. --Macaulay.
5. A receiver of stolen goods, or a place where they are received. [Slang]
Fence month Forest Law, the month in which female deer are fawning, when hunting is prohibited. --Bullokar.
Fence roof, a covering for defense. “They fitted their shields close to one another in manner of a fence roof.” --Holland.
Fence time, the breeding time of fish or game, when they should not be killed.
Rail fence, a fence made of rails, sometimes supported by posts.
Ring fence, a fence which encircles a large area, or a whole estate, within one inclosure.
Worm fence, a zigzag fence composed of rails crossing one another at their ends; -- called also snake fence, or Virginia rail fence.
To be on the fence, to be undecided or uncommitted in respect to two opposing parties or policies. [Colloq.]
n 1: a barrier that serves to enclose an area [syn: fencing]
2: a dealer in stolen property
v 1: enclose with a fence; "we fenced in our yard" [syn: fence
2: receive stolen goods
3: fight with fencing swords
4: surround with a wall in order to fortify [syn: wall, palisade,
fence in, surround]
5: have an argument about something [syn: argue, contend, debate]
(Heb. gader), Num. 22:24 (R.V.). Fences were constructions of
unmortared stones, to protect gardens, vineyards, sheepfolds,
etc. From various causes they were apt to bulge out and fall
(Ps. 62:3). In Ps. 80:12, R.V. (see Isa. 5:5), the psalmist
says, "Why hast thou broken down her fences?" Serpents delight
to lurk in the crevices of such fences (Eccl. 10:8; comp. Amos