1. A naturally enclosed space; SYN. natural enclosure.
2. A space that has been enclosed for some purpose.
3. Something (usually a supporting document) that is enclosed in an envelope with a covering letter; SYN. inclosure.
4. The act of enclosing something inside something else; SYN. enclosing, envelopment, enveloping, inclosure.
In Britain, appropriation of common land as private property, or the changing of open-field systems to enclosed fields (often used for sheep). This process began in the 14th century and became widespread in the 15th and 16th centuries. It caused poverty, homelessness, and rural depopulation, and resulted in revolts 1536, 1569, and 1607.
ETYM Abbrev. from defence.
A barrier that serves to enclose an area; SYN. fencing.
Barrier erected to mark a boundary, protect property, or prevent livestock from straying. Fences began to replace earth banks as boundary markers in the 16th century with the creation of the first private parks and small farms. Hedges and dry stone walls are often used as fences.
Early fences were made of rough timber posts and rails, but from the 18th century onward iron railings became available. The production of cheap wire in the 19th century and the invention in the US of barbed wire revolutionized agricultural fencing. Modern rot-proof fencing employs such materials as plastic and concrete.
The act or art of using a sword as in fencing; SYN. swordplay.
Sport of fighting with swords including the foil, derived from the light weapon used in practice duels; the épée, a heavier weapon derived from the duelling sword proper; and the saber, with a curved handle and narrow V-shaped blade. In saber fighting, cuts count as well as thrusts. Masks and protective jackets are worn, and hits are registered electronically in competitions. Men’s fencing has been part of every Olympic program since 1896; women’s fencing was included from 1924 but only using the foil.