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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.
LIFELONG carp angler Dave Massey is now hooked on barbel after being introduced to the powerful river fish by a pal.
I HAVE more details on the new River Severn barbel record - a 16lb 11oz fish caught by Kevin Gittins.
Contract notice: The contract is to perform an inventory of natural species including river lamprey lampetra fluviatilis, brook lamprey lampetra planeri, goats cobitis taenia, barbel barbus peloponnesius, cottus gobio bullhead, atlantic salmon salmo salar in the natura 2000
THE new river season started well on the Newport AA stretch of the Wye at Symonds Yat where Francis Jones, from Abertillery, made a dawn start and caught five barbel to 10.
The genus is diagnosed in having an interrupted post-labial fold, broad isthmus, gill openings not extending ventrally onto undersurface of head, 14-16 branched pectoral-fin rays, lower lip not connected to the base of the maxillary barbel by a skin flap, sulcus between the lip and the barbel, homodont dentition, teeth pointed, coni-form in both jaws, premaxillary tooth patches contacting each other but not confluent, not extended posterolaterally, laterally blunt; dilator operculi muscle and levator opercula muscle contacting each other, broad anterior end of sternohyoideus muscle, its width almost equal to the width in the axilla of the pectoral fin, adductor pelvicalis superficialis muscle not contacting its antimere at the midline (Zhou et al.
STEVE Chantry caught a fine barbel to help him win the NYSD Teams of Four Series, second round, fished on the middle River Tees.
WORLD famous Perth Scooter Gran Barbel Roerig is back on two wheels after the Daily Record stepped in to help.
And as Barbel zipped about the salon in a black jumpsuit and leopard flats, she made it abundantly clear that she'd prefer her customers not use the W-word.
AFANTASTIC day's barbel fishing on the Warwickshire Avon was topped off with a cracking double-figure fish for Julian Davies.
The Tyne continues to fish well for dace, gudgeon, roach and small chub on the Federation stretches but Steven Harrison's barbel bonanza catch on the Wear made angling history.
RIVER DANE The higher reaches will be best at places like Holmes Chapel, Swettenham, Byley and Croxton Lane, where barbel, chub, dace and roach are expected to provide lots of action.