from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An earthen embankment, especially one used as a fortification. synonym: bulwark.
  • noun Engineering Excavation and embankment of earth.
  • noun A work of art made by altering an area of land or a natural geographic feature, especially on a large scale.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In engineering, any operation in which earth is removed or thrown up, as in cuttings, embankments, etc.
  • noun In fortification, any offensive or defensive construction formed chiefly of earth: commonly in the plural.
  • noun Any similar construction, as the ancient mounds of earth found in various parts of the United States, of unknown use and origin. They differ widely in form, but are always well defined in plan, and sometimes inclose large areas.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Mil.) Any construction, whether a temporary breastwork or permanent fortification, for attack or defense, the material of which is chiefly earth.
  • noun The operation connected with excavations and embankments of earth in preparing foundations of buildings, in constructing canals, railroads, etc.
  • noun An embankment or construction made of earth.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any structure made from earth; especially an embankment or rampart used as a fortification

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an earthen rampart


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word earthwork.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Love the sound of Wordnet's "earthen rampart".

    October 31, 2008