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  1. the line of cliffs in NE New Jersey and SE New York extending along the W bank of the lower Hudson River. About 15 miles (24 km) long; 300–500 feet (91–152 meters) high.


  1. a fence of pales or stakes set firmly in the ground, as for enclosure or defense.
  2. any of a number of pales or stakes pointed at the top and set firmly in the ground in a close row with others to form a defense.
  3. Botany. palisade parenchyma.
  4. palisades, a line of cliffs.
verb (used with object), pal·i·sad·ed, pal·i·sad·ing.
  1. to furnish or fortify with a palisade.

Origin of palisade

1590–1600; < French palissade < Old Provençal palissada, equivalent to paliss(a) paling (derivative of pal stake, pale2) + -ada -ade1
Related formsun·pal·i·sad·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for palisades

Historical Examples

  • They gained the first and second palisades at the point of the sword.

    Ferdinand De Soto, The Discoverer of the Mississippi

    John S. C. Abbott

  • The palisades were of iron, though the tops were tipped with gilding, and they were very high.

    Rollo in Paris

    Jacob Abbott

  • The Vendeans had no axes to cut down the palisades, nor powder to blow then in.

    No Surrender!

    G. A. Henty

  • They turned into a sort of lane that led below the palisades.

    A Little Girl in Old Detroit

    Amanda Minnie Douglas

  • But the rough bush lopers inside the palisades were expert marksmen.

British Dictionary definitions for palisades


pl n
  1. US and Canadian high cliffs in a line, often along a river, resembling a palisade


  1. a strong fence made of stakes driven into the ground, esp for defence
  2. one of the stakes used in such a fence
  3. botany a layer of elongated mesophyll cells containing many chloroplasts, situated below the outer epidermis of a leaf blade
  1. (tr) to enclose with a palisade

Word Origin

C17: via French, from Old Provençal palissada, ultimately from Latin pālus stake; see pale ², pole 1
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 palisades



"a fence of stakes," c.1600, from Middle French palissade (15c.), from Provençal palissada, from palissa "a stake or paling," from Gallo-Romance *palicea, from Latin palus "stake" (see pale (n.)). Military sense is attested from 1690s. The Palisades, along the Hudson River opposite New York City, so called by 1823.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

palisades in Science


  1. A line of steep, high cliffs, especially of basalt, usually along a river.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.