barrier - definition and synonyms

noun [countable] 

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  1. 1
    a bar or gate that stops people or vehicles from entering a place

    Fans broke through the barriers and rushed onto the pitch.

    1. a.
      something that separates one thing from another

      The river is the last barrier between the rebel army and the city.

  2. 2
    anything that prevents progress or makes it difficult for someone to achieve something

    These regulations would place barriers in the way of genetic research.

    barrier to:

    Disability need not be a barrier to a successful career.

    High levels of debt are a major barrier to economic development.

    1. a.
      something that prevents people from communicating, working together etc

      Language differences did not appear to be a barrier.

      break down barriers:

      We’re trying to break down barriers between young people from both communities.

    2. b.
      a number, limit, or level that is considered important because it is difficult to go past
      go through/break a barrier:

      the day the stock market broke the 10,000 barrier

      The figure for inflation could go through the 5 per cent barrier.