from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A defensive obstacle made by laying felled trees on top of each other with branches, sometimes sharpened, facing the enemy.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A means of defense formed by felled trees, the ends of whose branches are sharpened and directed outwards, or against the enemy.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In the middle ages, an officer of the stables who had the care of measuring out the provender; an avenor.
- n. In fortification, a barricade made of felled trees denuded of their smaller branches, with the butt-ends of the trunks embedded in the earth or secured by pickets, and the sharpened ends of the branches directed upward and outward toward an advancing enemy, for the purpose of obstructing his progress.
- n. In coal-mining, walls of cord-wood piled up crosswise to keep the underground roads open so as to secure ventilation.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a line of defense consisting of a barrier of felled or live trees with branches (sharpened or with barbed wire entwined) pointed toward the enemy
French, pile of things thrown down, from Old French abateis; akin to abattre, to throw down; see abate.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French abatis, abattis, "mass of things beaten or cut down", from abattre. See abate. (Wiktionary)