fence meaning

[ fens ] Pronunciation:   "fence" in a sentence
Noun: fence  fens
  1. A barrier that serves to enclose an area
    - fencing 
  2. A dealer in stolen property
Verb: fence  fens
  1. Enclose with a fence
    "we fenced in our yard"
    - fence in 
  2. Receive stolen goods 
  3. Fight with fencing swords 
  4. Surround with a wall in order to fortify
    - wall, palisade, fence in, surround 
  5. Have an argument about something
    - argue, contend, debate

Derived forms: fenced, fences, fencing

See also: fencer, fencing

Type of: bargainer, barrier, close in, contend, converse, dealer, discourse, enclose, fight, have, inclose, monger, protect, receive, shut in, struggle, trader

Part of: fence line

Encyclopedia: Fence, Lancashire Fence Fence, Wisconsin Fence, WI

[British slang]
Noun. A person who receives and sells stolen goods.


A barrier that defines a property line, encloses, or borders on a field, a yard, or the like. For illustrations and definitions of specific types, see barbed-wire fence, board fence, chain-link fence, picket fence, plank fence, post-and-rail fence, rail fence, split-rail fence, sunk fence, Virginia rail fence, worm fence, zigzag fence.

A system or string of early warning radar stations.

1. A sequence of one or more distinguished (out-of-band) characters (or other data items), used to delimit a piece of data intended to be treated as a unit (the computer-science literature calls this a "sentinel"). The NUL (ASCII 0000000) character that terminates strings in C is a fence. Hex FF is also (though slightly less frequently) used this way. See zigamorph.

2. An extra data value inserted in an array or other data structure in order to allow some normal test on the array's contents also to function as a termination test. For example, a highly optimised routine for finding a value in an array might artificially place a copy of the value to be searched for after the last slot of the array, thus allowing the main search loop to search for the value without having to check at each pass whether the end of the array had been reached.

3. Any technique, usually exploiting knowledge about the compiler, that blocks certain optimisations. Used when explicit mechanisms are not available or are overkill. Typically a hack: "I call a dummy procedure there to force a flush of the optimiser's register-colouring info" can be expressed by the shorter "That's a fence procedure".


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  1. he snagged his sweater on the wire fence.
  2. his fences were continually falling to pieces.
  3. the fence cuts off our view of the sea.
  4. the thief escaped by climbing over a fence.
  5. the boy cleared the fence in one leap.

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