Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A cylindrical wicker basket filled with earth and stones, formerly used in building fortifications.
  • n. A hollow metal cylinder used especially in constructing dams and foundations.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A cylindrical basket or cage of wicker which was filled with earth or stones and used in fortifications and other engineering work (a precursor to the sandbag).
  • n. A woven wire mesh unit, sometimes rectangular, made from a continuous mesh panel and filled with stones sometimes coated with polyvinyl chloride.
  • n. A porous metal cylinder filled with stones and used in a variety of civil engineering contexts, especially in the construction of retaining walls, the reinforcing of steep slopes, or in the prevention of erosion in river banks.
  • n. A knickknack, objet d'art, curiosity, collectable.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A hollow cylinder of wickerwork, like a basket without a bottom. Gabions are made of various sizes, and filled with earth in building fieldworks to shelter men from an enemy's fire.
  • n. An openwork frame, as of poles, filled with stones and sunk, to assist in forming a bar dyke, etc., as in harbor improvement.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In fortification, a large basket of wickerwork constructed with stakes and osiers, or green twigs, in a cylindrical form, but without a bottom, varying in diameter from 20 to 70 inches, and in height from 33 inches to 5 or 6 feet, filled with earth, and serving to shelter men from an enemy's fire.
  • n. See the quotation.

Etymologies

French, from Italian gabbione, augmentative of gabbia, cage, from Latin cavea.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Italian gabbione, augmentative of gabbia, itself from Latin cavea. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • A form of earth reinforcement could be undertaken using a material such as gabion mesh laid into the slope at intervals as it is backfilled.

    2.1 Retaining walls

  • Mr. Heselden protected his invention with international patents; his U.S. patent, granted in 2008, calls it a gabion.

    Owner of Segway Company Dies in Accident

  • Students may also caution that Hesco has yet to face hard times: wars and floods have ensured demand for its moneymaker, the gabion that Heselden invented with his British Coal redundancy.

    A life lesson from the late, great Jimi Heselden

  • That was shown much more spectacularly in the relish he took from inventing and making things – such as the defensive gabion "blast walls" used by armies and in flood management – and the power which selling them gave him to leave the world a better place.

    A life lesson from the late, great Jimi Heselden

  • He invented a new version of the medieval gabion – baskets filled with stone or rubble which have been adapted in modern times to line riverbanks and road cuttings.

    Jimi Heselden obituary

  • The Hesco barrier or bastion is a modern gabion used for flood control and military fortification.

    A Nightmare’s Prayer

  • The gabion walls allow some amount of air to flow through the walls, and provide a great thermal mass absorbing daytime heat, and shading the interior.

    architecture office, ho chi minh city

  • The flows are channeled safely via gabion structures to storage reservoirs or to stream courses which flow into the sea.

    Water profile of Barbados

  • B&W kitteh seemz to B in some sort ob kayj, problee a gabion bazkett.

    run - Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats - I Can Has Cheezburger?

  • During the reconstruction the site was substantially raised, requiring extensive earthworks and gabion protection on the riverside.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

Comments

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  • See also gabbions.

    October 9, 2008

  • "Wicker basket filled with earth and/or stone, used in fortifications." Found this definition in an online glossary about castles, but it was still used in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century warfare, and for all I know during World War I as well. I'm kind of surprised there's no Weirdnet definition.

    August 25, 2008