Rail fence
Fence Fence (f[e^]ns), n. [Abbrev. from defence.] 1. That which fends off attack or danger; a defense; a protection; a cover; security; shield. [1913 Webster]

Let us be backed with God and with the seas, Which he hath given for fence impregnable. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

A fence betwixt us and the victor's wrath. --Addison. [1913 Webster]

2. An inclosure about a field or other space, or about any object; especially, an inclosing structure of wood, iron, or other material, intended to prevent intrusion from without or straying from within. [1913 Webster]

Leaps o'er the fence with ease into the fold. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

Note: In England a hedge, ditch, or wall, as well as a structure of boards, palings, or rails, is called a fence. [1913 Webster]

3. (Locks) A projection on the bolt, which passes through the tumbler gates in locking and unlocking. [1913 Webster]

4. Self-defense by the use of the sword; the art and practice of fencing and sword play; hence, skill in debate and repartee. See {Fencing}. [1913 Webster]

Enjoy your dear wit, and gay rhetoric, That hath so well been taught her dazzing fence. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

Of dauntless courage and consummate skill in fence. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

5. A receiver of stolen goods, or a place where they are received. [Slang] --Mayhew. [1913 Webster]

{Fence month} (Forest Law), the month in which female deer are fawning, when hunting is prohibited. --Bullokar.

{Fence roof}, a covering for defense. ``They fitted their shields close to one another in manner of a fence roof.'' --Holland.

{Fence time}, the breeding time of fish or game, when they should not be killed.

{Rail fence}, a fence made of rails, sometimes supported by posts.

{Ring fence}, a fence which encircles a large area, or a whole estate, within one inclosure.

{Worm fence}, a zigzag fence composed of rails crossing one another at their ends; -- called also {snake fence}, or {Virginia rail fence}.

{To be on the fence}, to be undecided or uncommitted in respect to two opposing parties or policies. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rail fence — Rail Rail, n. [Akin to LG. & Sw. regel bar, bolt, G. riegel a rail, bar, or bolt, OHG. rigil, rigel, bar, bolt, and possibly to E. row a line.] 1. A bar of timber or metal, usually horizontal or nearly so, extending from one post or support to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • rail-fence — railˈ fence noun (US) A fence of wooden posts and rails • • • Main Entry: ↑rail …   Useful english dictionary

  • rail fence — noun a fence (usually made of split logs laid across each other at an angle) (Freq. 1) • Hypernyms: ↑fence, ↑fencing • Hyponyms: ↑worm fence, ↑snake fence, ↑snake rail fence, ↑Virginia fence …   Useful english dictionary

  • rail fence — A fence constructed of wooden rails, sometimes roughly hewed rails, alternating from section to section slightly in direction, thereby presenting a worm like feature. A Virginia worm rail fence projecting equally on the land of each adjoining… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • rail fence — a fence made of rails resting on crossed stakes or across one another at an angle. Also called Virginia fence. [1640 50, Amer.] * * * …   Universalium

  • Rail Fence Cipher — The Rail Fence Cipher (also called a zigzag cipher) is a form of transposition cipher that derives its name from the way in which it is encoded.In the rail fence cipher, the plaintext is written downwards and diagonally on successive rails of an… …   Wikipedia

  • rail-fence cipher — noun : a zigzag transposition method in which alternate letters of the plaintext are juxtaposed (as in the encipherment bridge.bigrde) …   Useful english dictionary

  • Virginia rail fence — Fence Fence (f[e^]ns), n. [Abbrev. from defence.] 1. That which fends off attack or danger; a defense; a protection; a cover; security; shield. [1913 Webster] Let us be backed with God and with the seas, Which he hath given for fence impregnable …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Split-rail fence — A split rail fence and log fence is a type of fence constructed out of timber logs, usually split lengthwise into rails and typically used for agricultural or decorative fencing. Such fences require much more timber than other types of fences,… …   Wikipedia

  • Cifrado Rail Fence — El Cifrado Rail Fence es una forma de cifrado por permutación que ha tomado por la forma en que se codifican los textos con él. En el cifrado rail fence, el texto plano se escribe hacia abajo diagonalmente a través de sucesivos raíles de una… …   Wikipedia Español

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