Meaning of barnet in English:


Pronunciation /ˈbɑːnɪt/


informal British
  • A person's hair.

    • ‘He had special scissors that ‘thin’ the barnet by cutting some hairs but not others.’
    • ‘It was an American era of big moustaches, buffed-up barnets, industrial-strength sideburns and intimidating, tightly permed chest hair.’
    • ‘They had sought him out to discover whether having a long barnet and beard makes a stand-up more or less comic.’
    • ‘And it was here that both Suzanne and I walked past each other, not recognising each other with our new barnets (perhaps my parents were right about hair changes being akin to plastic surgery).’
    • ‘Free Kick and free love specialist, David Beckham has come out with a new hair cut to add to his long list of changing barnets.’
    • ‘This year's theme of Comic Relief is The Big Hair Do with people encouraged to give their barnet a wacky makeover.’
    • ‘The hair was forced into a frazzled haystack, with a little thatch combed over until your barnet billowed in frozen masses around your face.’
    • ‘Batwings, schoolgirl ties, frizzy hair, layered lipgloss, bleached barnets and ruffled skirts are just a few of the 80s disco elements which cropped up on this season's catwalks.’
    • ‘Lead singer Adam Duritz's Medusa-like dreadlocks give him one of the most recognisable barnets in the music business.’
    • ‘A couple of us in the Labour benches are thinking of putting down a motion condemning ministers with bad barnets.’
    • ‘Yet before he took to designing barnets he wanted to design buildings.’
    • ‘He laughs off the distinctive barnet, ‘I used to have dreadlocks, but I shaved them off.’’
    • ‘Hart belts out the Sinatra standards, but while his vocal impersonation is impressive, his barnet is so distressing it often looks like there's a second microphone on screen.’
    • ‘An embarrassed Keith, 35, had to take a day off work yesterday to get the blue barnet shaved off at his local barbers near his home in Wigan and had to wear a hat to avoid any further blushes.’
    • ‘Your barnet was pomaded and with the flick of a comb, your parting stayed in place - even if it did give your scalp a covering which would have stopped bullets in the trenches.’
    • ‘Scientists are predicting the demise of the ginger barnet, for so long a characteristic of Scots from Rob Roy to Robin Cook, because of racial mixing.’
    • ‘Or was I the only one dying to see what Den's mistress Kate did with her barnet after Chrissie, the woman scorned, hacked off her hair.’
    • ‘Then in 2000, his barnet made an astonishing comeback, displaying a glossy dark sheen probably not seen since his days in university.’
    • ‘Second, you are just a confused pregnant lady who thinks a change will make her feel better - it won't, it will lead to tears and a disastrous barnet.’
    • ‘I do wear nice clothes (I hope) and get through gallons of the Body Shop glossing shampoo to make the barnet better.’
    head of hair, shock of hair, mop of hair, mane


Mid 19th century from rhyming slang barnet fair, the name of a famous horse fair held at Barnet, Herts.