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bar /bar/ n.

1. [very common] The second metasyntactic variable, after foo and before baz. "Suppose we have two functions: FOO and BAR. FOO calls BAR...." 2. Often appended to foo to produce foobar.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

Bar is a unit of atmospheric pressure. Traditionally 'bar' has been defined as the amount of pressure from the atmosphere at sea level (about 14.50 psi). That is, the weight of the air when standing on the beach. This is fine, however the air pressure changes with the weather - there are high pressure systems and low pressure systems.

Air pressure is measured with a barometer. In the United States, air pressure is measured in inches of mercury (today the barometer is at 29.97 inches). In the world of the metric this is reported as either millibars or hectopascals (the barometer is at 1015 mb).

Hectopascals (and the units of pascal) refer to a direct measure of pressure, similar to that of 'pounds per square inch' but in the metric system. Its use is primarily within the scientific community (the pascal is a SI unit while the bar is not) but is slowly spreading to meteorology (and thus everyday use).

One bar is the force of 1000,000 newtons acting on one square meter (which is a rather inconveniently large unit to measure and deal with). In english units, one bar is equal to 14.5 pounds per square inch.

The standard definition of atmospheric pressure is 1013.25 millibars at sea level or 101,325 pascals. One hectoPascal is the same as one millibar - it is much easier to think of numbers in the range of 0-100 and not much of a stretch to deal with numbers around 1,000 (give or take). It is difficult for us to work with numbers on the order of 100,000 in the every day world that change by thousands from one day to the next.

For comparison, the air pressure on Mars is as last recorded by the Mars Pathfinder 6.71 millibars and ranges from 6 to 10 millibars depending on the season.

The profession of barristers; may be used as a collective singular, or a plural noun.

Barristers (in England and Wales) have only one legal specialism open to them: litigation, although they do of course specialise in different areas of the law to litigate upon (contrast with the specialisms open to solicitors). The other major area of work that barristers undertake is to provide specialist advice to solicitors reagarding a particular case. While it used to be that only barristers could litigate in the higher courts (Supreme Court of Judicature and House of Lords), solicitors may adopt litigation as a specialism. Nevertheless, the bar is going strong for a number of reasons: First, the bar still has a certain prestige, and all judges at present (except one, who is an academic) are barristers, and seem not to look too favourably upon solicitor-advocates; Secondly, specialisation is expensive for solicitors, and a law student who wishes to become a litigator might as well save themselves the time it takes to become a solicitor-advocate; Thirdly, a junior barrister is (according to the Bar Council) cheaper than any solicitor.

The structure of the profession

The profession may be divided into unqualified barristers, barristers, and "QC's" or "silks".

Before actually qualifying as a barrister (Specifically, before the start of their second "six"), one must be "Called to the utter bar" by one's Inn. Having been so called, one may style one's self a barrister, but not actually practice as a barrister. This will probably also affect what you are allowed to do, as opposed to when you were just a trainee, in the rules of the inn.

Silks are barristers who have taken extra qualifications and been in the bar for quite a few years. It used to be that they were the only ones allowed to litigate before the House of Lords. They also wear silk robes in court, and may append "QC" to their names (or KC if a king reigns).

Those institutions in full

The bar is governed by both the Inns of Court and the Bar Council. The inns were the original governing bodies, with the Council being a newer innovation. In theory, the inns remain responsible for regulating the conduct of their members, and providing for their training, however, the Council also regulates conduct, and training is provided by institutions accredited by the Council to provide the BVC.

The inns (Gray's, Lincolns, Inner Temple, and Middle Temple) still ultimately decide one is to become a barrister, as after completing the BVC, one must be "called" by one's inn.

How to become a barrister

Acquire a degree. If not an accredited law degree, also acquire CPE/PgDL. Join an Inn. Get BVC (Bar vocational qualification). Find two barristers in two sets who will take you on as a pupil for six months each. (Each period is known as a "six"). Get called before completing the second six. Et voila!. For your next trick, join a set of chambers. (You can't practice independantly for three years).

Where Barristers hang out

Barristers hang out in "sets" of "chambers". These may be little more than shared offices, or they may indeed operate as a company; they may be small (less than ten), or large (Nearly a hundred).

Hiring one

To hire one of these guys, you'll either need to have a solicitor (or a few other professionals, like a foreign lawyer registered with the law society, check out the Bar Council website), who will handle all the tasks on your case that the barrister doesn't, or you will need to be licensed by the bar council under the BARDirect scheme to directly instruct barristers.

Bar (?), n. [OE. barre, F. barre, fr. LL. barra, W. bar the branch of a tree, bar, baren branch, Gael. & Ir. barra bar. 91.]


A piece of wood, metal, or other material, long in proportion to its breadth or thickness, used as a lever and for various other purposes, but especially for a hindrance, obstruction, or fastening; as, the bars of a fence or gate; the bar of a door.

Thou shalt make bars of shittim wood. Ex. xxvi. 26.


An indefinite quantity of some substance, so shaped as to be long in proportion to its breadth and thickness; as, a bar of gold or of lead; a bar of soap.


Anything which obstructs, hinders, or prevents; an obstruction; a barrier.

Must I new bars to my own joy create? Dryden.

<-- p. 118 -->


A bank of sand, gravel, or other matter, esp. at the mouth of a river or harbor, obstructing navigation.


Any railing that divides a room, or office, or hall of assembly, in order to reserve a space for those having special privileges; as, the bar of the House of Commons.

6. Law (a)

The railing that incloses the place which counsel occupy in courts of justice. Hence, the phrase at the bar of the court signifies in open court.


The place in court where prisoners are stationed for arraignment, trial, or sentence.


The whole body of lawyers licensed in a court or district; the legal profession.


A special plea constituting a sufficient answer to plaintiff's action.


Any tribunal; as, the bar of public opinion; the bar of God.


A barrier or counter, over which liquors and food are passed to customers; hence, the portion of the room behind the counter where liquors for sale are kept.

9. Her.

An ordinary, like a fess but narrower, occupying only one fifth part of the field.


A broad shaft, or band, or stripe; as, a bar of light; a bar of color.

11. Mus.

A vertical line across the staff. Bars divide the staff into spaces which represent measures, and are themselves called measures.

⇒ A double bar marks the end of a strain or main division of a movement, or of a whole piece of music; in psalmody, it marks the end of a line of poetry. The term bar is very often loosely used for measure, i.e., for such length of music, or of silence, as is included between one bar and the next; as, a passage of eight bars; two bars' rest.

12. Far. pl. (a)

The space between the tusks and grinders in the upper jaw of a horse, in which the bit is placed.


The part of the crust of a horse's hoof which is bent inwards towards the frog at the heel on each side, and extends into the center of the sole.

13. Mining (a)

A drilling or tamping rod.


A vein or dike crossing a lode.

14. Arch. (a)

A gatehouse of a castle or fortified town.


A slender strip of wood which divides and supports the glass of a window; a sash bar.

Bar shoe Far., a kind of horseshoe having a bar across the usual opening at the heel, to protect a tender frog from injury. -- Bar shot, a double headed shot, consisting of a bar, with a ball or half ball at each end; -- formerly used for destroying the masts or rigging in naval combat. -- Bar sinister Her., a term popularly but erroneously used for baton, a mark of illegitimacy. See Baton. -- Bar tracery Arch., ornamental stonework resembling bars of iron twisted into the forms required. -- Blank bar Law. See Blank. -- Case at bar Law, a case presently before the court; a case under argument. -- In bar of, as a sufficient reason against; to prevent. -- Matter in bar, or Defence in bar, a plea which is a final defense in an action. -- Plea in bar, a plea which goes to bar or defeat the plaintiff's action absolutely and entirely. -- Trial at bar Eng.Law, a trial before all the judges of one the superior courts of Westminster, or before a quorum representing the full court.


© Webster 1913.

Bar (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Barred (); p. pr. & vb. n. Barring.] [ F. barrer. See Bar, n.]


To fasten with a bar; as, to bar a door or gate.


To restrict or confine, as if by a bar; to hinder; to obstruct; to prevent; to prohibit; as, to bar the entrance of evil; distance bars our intercourse; the statute bars my right; the right is barred by time; a release bars the plaintiff's recovery; -- sometimes with up.

He barely looked the idea in the face, and hastened to bar it in its dungeon. Hawthorne.


To except; to exclude by exception.

Nay, but I bar to-night: you shall not gauge me By what we do to-night. Shak.


To cross with one or more stripes or lines.

For the sake of distinguishing the feet more clearly, I have barred them singly. Burney.


© Webster 1913.

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