bulwark


bulwark
bulwark n Bulwark, breastwork, rampart, parapet, bastion are comparable when they denote a structure above the ground that forms part of a fortification and is specifically intended for purposes of defense.
Bulwark is the most general and the least technical of these terms. It is or has been applied to various defensive structures (as a wall intended to keep out an enemy, a structure of logs, earth, or stones from behind which defenders can safely attack besiegers or an assaulting force, and a breakwater or sea wall). The term is also extended to a person or a thing regarded as a firm, steadfast, or powerful defense or defender
{

he stood, the bulwark of the Grecian band— Pope

}
{

the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns, and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies— Jefferson

}
Breastwork applies chiefly to a structure of earth, often hastily thrown up and usually only a few feet in height, behind which defenders may crouch or stand so as to fire their guns from a protected position
{

the mud breastworks had long been leveled with the earth— Irving

}
Rampart and parapet are the common technical terms especially when fortifications of the type that prevailed before World War I are under consideration. In this sense a rampart is an embankment round a place often, especially in old castles, built inside a moat and rising high enough to conceal forces lying behind it yet broad enough on its top level to permit the movement of men and of guns when they are needed in action. A parapet is a structure rising above the top level of a rampart and serving as a breastwork for those aiming and firing guns and as a bulwark against the missiles of the enemy. But in less technical use rampart is applied to a wall or to an elevation or level on which defenders may operate when in action or which may be thought of as suitable for such action, and parapet is applied to a structure (as a low wall or a balustrade) resembling a parapet of a fortification
{

populous No, that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about it, whose rampart was the sea— Nah 3:8

}
{

on a summer's day Wolstanbury Hill is an island in sunshine; you may lie on the grassy rampart, high up in the most delicate air— Jefferies

}
{

the terrace surrounded with a stone parapet in front of the house— George Eliot

}
Bastion applies to a projection extending from the main wall of a fortification; typically a bastion is a four-sided projection ending in an acute angle and providing a means whereby the enemy may be covered in several directions and the fortification protected from at least four angles. In extended use bastion may differ from rampart in carrying a stronger suggestion of attack than of defense
{

they build each other up ... as bastions set point-blank against God's will— Cowper

}
Analogous words: stronghold, fortress, *fort, citadel

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bulwark — Bul wark, n. [Akin to D. bolwerk, G. bollwerk, Sw. bolwerk, Dan. bolv[ a]rk, bulv[ a]rk, rampart; akin to G. bohle plank, and werk work, defense. See {Bole} stem, and {Work}, n., and cf. {Boulevard}.] 1. (Fort.) A rampart; a fortification; a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Bulwark — can refer to:* An architectural term *A naval term, an extension of a ships sides above water level * Any of seven Royal Navy ships, see HMS Bulwark * Part of the town of Chepstow, Monmouthshire, Wales …   Wikipedia

  • bulwark — [bool′wərk, bul′wərk] n. [ME bulwerk < MDu bolwerc: see BOLE1 & WORK] 1. an earthwork or defensive wall; fortified rampart 2. BREAKWATER 3. a person or thing serving as a strong defense or protection 4. [ …   English World dictionary

  • Bulwark — Bul wark, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Bulwarked}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Bulwarking}.] To fortify with, or as with, a rampart or wall; to secure by fortification; to protect. [1913 Webster] Of some proud city, bulwarked round and armed With rising towers.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bulwark — I noun abutment, asylum, barricade, barrier, bastion, battlement, buffer, bulkhead, buttress, citadel, defense, embankment, fort, fortification, fortress, guard, haven, insulation, insulator, palladium, parapet, preservation, propugnaculum,… …   Law dictionary

  • bulwark — early 15c., from M.Du. bulwerke or M.H.G. bolwerc, from bole plank, tree trunk (from P.Gmc. *bul , from PIE root *bhel (2) to blow, swell; see BOLE (Cf. bole)) + werc work. Figurative sense is from 1570s …   Etymology dictionary

  • bulwark — [n] fortification, support barrier, bastion, buffet, buttress, citadel, defense, embankment, fort, fortress, guard, mainstay, outwork, parapet, partition, protection, rampart, redoubt, safeguard, security, stronghold, vallation; concepts 96,729… …   New thesaurus

  • bulwark — ► NOUN 1) a defensive wall. 2) an extension of a ship s sides above deck level. ORIGIN from Low German and Dutch bolwerk …   English terms dictionary

  • Bulwark — Mehrere Schiffe der britischen Royal Navy trugen den Namen HMS Bulwark nach dem englischen Wort für Bollwerk. Der Bau der ersten Bulwark begann 1780, wurde aber in einem frühen Stadium eingestellt. Das Schiff wurde nie fertiggestellt. Die zweite… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • bulwark — UK [ˈbʊlwə(r)k] / US [ˈbʊlwərk] noun Word forms bulwark : singular bulwark plural bulwarks 1) [countable] formal someone or something that protects or defends something such as a belief, idea, or way of life The country is valued as a bulwark of… …   English dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.