Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old French
Origin: barriere, from barre; BAR1

barrier

noun
     
barrier
bar‧ri‧er W3 [countable]
1 a rule, problem etc that prevents people from doing something, or limits what they can do:
the removal of trade barriers (=something such as a tax that makes trade between countries difficult)
barrier to
Problems with childcare remain the biggest barrier to women succeeding at work.
barrier between
barriers between doctors and patients
The language barrier (=the inability to talk with someone because you speak a different language) makes debate impossible.
2 a type of fence or gate that prevents people from moving in a particular direction:
Crowds burst through the barriers and ran onto the pitch.
3 a physical object that keeps two areas, people etc apart
barrier between
The mountains form a natural barrier between the two countries.
4

the 10-second/40% etc barrier

TMDS a level or amount of 10 seconds, 40% etc, that is seen as a limit which it is difficult to get beyond:
I'm hoping to crash the 20-second barrier in the final and get a bronze.

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