General English


  • An obstruction used to deter the passage of persons or vehicles. Any of several devices used to detour or restrict passage.


  • noun an improvised obstacle or fortification
  • verb to make an obstruction (with whatever materials happen to be available)


  • noun an informal barrier set up to block a street or passageway, especially by protestors

Origin & History of “barricade”

12 May 1588 was known as la journée des barricades ‘the day of the barricades’, because in the course of disturbances in Paris during the Huguenot wars, large barrels (French barriques) filled with earth, cobblestones, etc were hauled into the street on that day to form barricades – and the term has stuck ever since. Barrique itself was borrowed from Spanish barrica ‘cask’, which was formed from the same stem as that from which English gets barrel (14th c.). It has been speculated that this was vulgar Latin *barra ‘bar’, on the basis that barrels are made of ‘bars’ or ‘staves’.