—n. 1. a barrier enclosing or bordering a field, yard, etc., usually made of posts and wire or wood, used to prevent entrance, to confine, or to mark a boundary.
2. Informal.a person who receives and disposes of stolen goods.
3. the place of business of such a person.
4. the act, practice, art, or sport of fencing.
5. skill in argument, repartee, etc.
6. Mach.a guard or guide, as for regulating the movements of a tool or work.
7. Carpentry.a slotted guide used esp. with a framing square to lay out cuts on rafters and staircase strings.
8. Archaic.a means of defense; a bulwark.
9. mend one's fences, to strengthen or reestablish one's position by conciliation or negotiation: One could tell by his superficially deferential manner that he was trying to mend his fences. 10. on the fence, uncommitted; neutral; undecided: The party leaders are still on the fence.
—v.t. 1. to enclose by some barrier, establishing exclusive right to possession: to fence a farm. 2. to separate by or as by a fence or fences (often fol. by in, off, out, etc.): to fence off a corner of one's yard; to fence out unwholesome influences. 3. to defend; protect; guard: The president was fenced by bodyguards wherever he went. 4. to ward off; keep out.
5. Informal.to sell (stolen goods) to a fence.
6. Naut.to reinforce (an opening in a sail or the like) by sewing on a grommet or other device.
—v.i. 1. to practice the art or sport of fencing.
2. to parry arguments; strive to avoid giving direct answers; hedge: The mayor fenced when asked if he would run again. 3. (of a horse) to leap over a fence.
4. Obs.to raise a defense.