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cheval-de-frise

[shuh-val-duh-freez]
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noun, plural che·vaux-de-frise [shuh-voh-duh-freez] /ʃəˈvoʊ dəˈfriz/. Usually chevaux-de-frise.
  1. a portable obstacle, usually a sawhorse, covered with projecting spikes or barbed wire, for military use in closing a passage, breaking in a defensive wall, etc.

Origin of cheval-de-frise

1680–90; < French; literally, horse of Friesland, so called because first used by Frisians
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for cheval de frise

cheval-de-frise

noun plural chevaux-de-frise (ʃəˌvəʊdəˈfriːz)
  1. a portable barrier of spikes, sword blades, etc, used to obstruct the passage of cavalry
  2. a row of spikes or broken glass set as an obstacle on top of a wall

Word Origin

C17: from French, literally: horse from Friesland (where it was first used)
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

Word Origin and History for cheval de frise

n.

1680s, from French, literally "horse of Frisia," supposedly because it was first employed there as a defense against cavalry; from French cheval "horse" (see cavalier (n.)). Plural chevaux de frise.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper