Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[brest-wurk] /ˈbrɛstˌwɜrk/
noun, Fortification.
a defensive work, usually breast high.
Origin of breastwork
First recorded in 1635-45; breast + work Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for breastwork
Historical Examples
  • He was behind a boulder, not too dissimilar to Calhoun's breastwork.

    Pariah Planet Murray Leinster
  • The breastwork was about five feet high, and was absolutely unclimbable.

  • All the miners rushed to the breastwork save one, and that was Seth.

    Picked up at Sea J.C. Hutcheson
  • None of them, however, showed any signs of returning to the breastwork.

    The Desert Home Mayne Reid
  • The builders of that breastwork were before my eyes, and apparently just resting from their labours.

    The Desert Home Mayne Reid
  • He drew in his rein, and stopped his steed at one end of the breastwork.

  • Then we pushed into the mass of boughs and drove the French back into their breastwork.

    Ben Comee

    M. J. (Michael Joseph) Canavan
  • How they were to take the breastwork in this way, we could not see.

    Ben Comee

    M. J. (Michael Joseph) Canavan
  • Entrance is gained to the turrets themselves from inside this breastwork.

    Man on the Ocean R.M. Ballantyne
  • The Dominie, who had seen the occurrence, rushed back to the breastwork.

    With Axe and Rifle W.H.G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for breastwork


(fortifications) a temporary defensive work, usually breast-high Also called parapet
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for breastwork

"fieldwork thrown up breast-high for defense," 1640s, from breast (n.) + work (n.) in "fortification" sense. Old English had breostweall in same sense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for breastwork

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for breastwork

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for breastwork