- plural of cheval-de-frise.
- 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
Examples from the Web for chevaux-de-frise
Immediately in front of the rifle-pits, a chevaux-de-frise was constructed.
Their progress was obstructed by chevaux-de-frise and other impediments.History of the Rise of the Huguenots
In the deep channel between, or under cover of these batteries, several ranges of chevaux-de-frise had been sunk.Life And Times Of Washington, Volume 2
John Frederick Schroeder
Such a chevaux-de-frise would defend a trench against the most courageous regiment.Jungle Peace
Tops of trees showed over the high garden wall, and the wall was protected by chevaux-de-frise.The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 4 (of 25)
Robert Louis Stevenson
- a portable barrier of spikes, sword blades, etc, used to obstruct the passage of cavalry
- a row of spikes or broken glass set as an obstacle on top of a wall
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