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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Fence


FENCE, noun fens. [See Fend.]

1. A wall, hedge, ditch, bank, or line of posts and rails, or of boards or pickets, intended to confine beasts from straying, and to guard a field from being entered by cattle, or from other encroachment. A good farmer has good fences about his farm; an insufficient fence is evidence of bad management. Broken windows and poor fences are evidences of idleness or poverty or of both.

2. A guard; any thing to restrain entrance; that which defends from attack, approach or injury; security; defense.

A fence betwixt us and the victor's wrath.

3. Fencing, or the art of fencing; defense.

4. Skill in fencing or defense.

FENCE, verb transitive fens.

1. To inclose with a hedge, wall, or any thing that prevents the escape or entrance of cattle; to secure by an inclosure. In New England, farmers, for the most part, fence their lands with posts and rails, or with stone walls. In England, lands are usually fenced with hedges and ditches.

He hath fenced my way that I cannot pass. Job 19:8.

2. To guard; to fortify.

So much of adder's wisdom I have learnt, to fence my ear against thy sorceries.

FENCE, verb intransitive

1. To practice the art of fencing; to use a sword or foil, for the purpose of learning the art of attack and defense. To fence well is deemed a useful accomplishment for military gentlemen.

2. To fight and defend by giving and avoiding blows or thrusts.

They fence and push, and pushing, loudly roar, their dewlaps and their sides are bathed in gore.

3. To raise a fence; to guard. It is difficult to fence against unruly cattle.