Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A large farm building used for storing farm products and sheltering livestock.
  • n. A large shed for the housing of vehicles, such as railroad cars.
  • n. A particularly large, typically bare building: lived in a barn of a country house.
  • n. Physics A unit of area equal to 10-24 square centimeters, used to measure cross sections in nuclear physics.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A building, often found on a farm, used for storage or keeping animals such as cattle.
  • n. A unit of surface area equal to 10-28 square metres.
  • n. An arena.
  • n. A child.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A covered building used chiefly for storing grain, hay, and other productions of a farm. In the United States a part of the barn is often used for stables.
  • transitive v. To lay up in a barn.
  • n. A child. See bairn.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To store up in a barn.
  • n. A child.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an outlying farm building for storing grain or animal feed and housing farm animals
  • n. (physics) a unit of nuclear cross section; the effective circular area that one particle presents to another as a target for an encounter

Etymologies

Middle English bern, from Old English berærn : bere, barley.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English bern, from Old English bereærn 'barn, granary', compound of bere 'barley' and ærn, ræn 'dwelling, barn', from Proto-Germanic *raznan (cf. Old High German erin, Old Norse rann), from pre-Germanic *h₁rh̥₁-s-nó-, from Proto-Indo-European *h₁erh₁- 'to rest'. More at rest and barley. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English barn, bern, from Old English bearn ("child, son, offspring, prodigy") and Old Norse barn ("child"). More at bairn. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • A unit of area for measuring the reaction cross-section (generally different from the geometric cross-section) of atomic nuclei and subatomic particles in the study of their interactions with other nuclei or particles. A barn is equal to 10 to 24 square cm. The name, coined by U.S. scientists, is derived from the phrase "side of a barn"--something easy to hit.

    November 7, 2007