The DICT Development Group
1 definition found
for To be on the fence
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :
Fence \Fence\ (f[e^]ns), n. [Abbrev. from defence.]
1. That which fends off attack or danger; a defense; a
protection; a cover; security; shield.
Let us be backed with God and with the seas,
Which he hath given for fence impregnable. --Shak.
A fence betwixt us and the victor's wrath.
2. An inclosure about a field or other space, or about any
object; especially, an inclosing structure of wood, iron,
or other material, intended to prevent intrusion from
without or straying from within.
Leaps o'er the fence with ease into the fold.
Note: In England a hedge, ditch, or wall, as well as a
structure of boards, palings, or rails, is called a
3. (Locks) A projection on the bolt, which passes through the
tumbler gates in locking and unlocking.
4. Self-defense by the use of the sword; the art and practice
of fencing and sword play; hence, skill in debate and
repartee. See Fencing.
Enjoy your dear wit, and gay rhetoric,
That hath so well been taught her dazzing fence.
Of dauntless courage and consummate skill in fence.
5. A receiver of stolen goods, or a place where they are
received. [Slang] --Mayhew.
Fence month (Forest Law), the month in which female deer
are fawning, when hunting is prohibited. --Bullokar.
Fence roof, a covering for defense. "They fitted their
shields close to one another in manner of a fence roof."
Fence time, the breeding time of fish or game, when they
should not be killed.
Rail fence, a fence made of rails, sometimes supported by
Ring fence, a fence which encircles a large area, or a
whole estate, within one inclosure.
Worm fence, a zigzag fence composed of rails crossing one
another at their ends; -- called also snake fence, or
Virginia rail fence.
To be on the fence, to be undecided or uncommitted in
respect to two opposing parties or policies. [Colloq.]
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