Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

bar·bel 1

One of the slender, whiskerlike tactile organs extending from the head of certain fishes, such as catfishes. Also called barb1.

[Obsolete French, from Old French, from Medieval Latin barbula, diminutive of Late Latin barbus, beard, from Latin barba; see bhardh-ā- in Indo-European roots.]

bar·bel 2

Any of several freshwater cyprinid fishes of the genus Barbus of Eurasia and Africa, especially B. barbus, having four barbels on the upper jaw.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin *barbellus, diminutive of barbus, from Latin barba, beard; see barbel1.]


1. (Zoology) any of several slender tactile spines or bristles that hang from the jaws of certain fishes, such as the catfish and carp
2. (Animals) any of several European cyprinid fishes of the genus Barbus, esp B. barbus, that resemble the carp but have a longer body and pointed snout
[C14: from Old French, from Latin barbus, from barba beard]


(ˈbɑr bəl)

1. a slender, external process on the head of certain fishes.
2. Also called barb. any European cyprinid fish of the genus Barbus, esp. B. barbus, having such processes.
[1400–1450; late Middle English barbell < Middle French barbel < Vulgar Latin *barbellus a weightlifting]


A slender, whisker-like feeler extending from the head of certain fish, such as the catfish. It is used for touch and taste.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.barbel - slender tactile process on the jaws of a fishbarbel - slender tactile process on the jaws of a fish
tentacle - any of various elongated tactile or prehensile flexible organs that occur on the head or near the mouth in many animals; used for feeling or grasping or locomotion


[ˈbɑːbəl] N
1. (Anat) → barbilla f, cococha f
2. (= fish) → barbo m


n (fish) → Barbe f; (= filament on fish)Bartel f, → Bartfaden m
References in classic literature ?
I have taken a barbel that weighs at least thirty pounds, and more than fifty mullets; I have also some little whitings that will fry beautifully.
Fishing the Tees at Over Dinsdale, Steve accounted for two heavyweights ( 9lb 12oz and 9lb 10oz respectively ( proving the barbel population of the Tees can produce specimen fish.
The remarkable season for record fish on the country's rivers ended with a flourish with Lancashire's Ribble yielding a barbel of 14lb 10oz and a chub of 7lb 10oz.
THE Severn has long been regarded as the river for big barbel, but its headline reputation could be about to be usurped, according to former international Jan Porter.
Essex angler Steve Pope, chairman of the Barbel Society, has landed an incredible 37 barbel weighing 270lb, with a best specimen of 12lb 7oz, during a session on the River Severn near Worcester.
ONE of the most commonly used baits for barbel has to be meat.
We were fishing for some bream for the pan at Antelope and the crayfish were having a field day with our bait when my son, Zayan aged eight years, decided to have a go for barbel in the deep.
Videos of sprightly Barbel Roerig whizzing around her home city carrying her Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shopping bag went viral last October.
THE Birmingham Anglers Association has released its list of the best-of-each-species to be caught from their river venues in 2012 and it reads as follows: barbel, 15lb 4oz, River Avon, Fladbury (Chris Blunt); chub, 6lb 7oz, River Avon, Marcliff (David Wood); roach, 2lb 4oz, River Severn, Danery (Andy Lea); perch 2lb 8oz, River Severn, Arley (Joe Boles); pike 16lb 7oz, River Avon, Fladbury (Neil Walker).
Ken's long career ranged from match fishing to catching specimen barbel and he was a key member of the Newport AA Winter League and National Championship teams during the 1960s and 70s.
Gale force winds and a gin-clear river made it a struggle for most in Sunday's Evesham Festival Qualifier on the Warwickshire Avon, but a 7lb barbel, landed in the last ten minutes of the match, helped Steve Toone to victory in the latest Abu Garcia Wychavon Championship qualifier.
RIVER DANE: Water levels have dropped nicely and good fishing is on the cards, especially on the upper reaches above Holmes Chapel where dace, barbel and chub have been plentiful.