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[par-uh-pit, -pet] /ˈpær ə pɪt, -ˌpɛt/
  1. a defensive wall or elevation, as of earth or stone, in a fortification.
  2. an elevation raised above the main wall or rampart of a permanent fortification.
any low protective wall or barrier at the edge of a balcony, roof, bridge, or the like.
Origin of parapet
1575-85; < Italian parapetto, equivalent to para- para-2 + petto chest, breast < Latin pectus
Related forms
parapeted, adjective
parapetless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for parapet
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Let us sit down on the parapet and try to realise the scene.

  • He swung himself on—near—near—nearer—a yard from the parapet.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • "This is where Gordon used to stand," the Sirdar stopped us near the parapet.

    It Happened in Egypt C. N. Williamson
  • Spires of this period are not very common, and usually spring from within the parapet.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • My first vision over the parapet revealed but a mottled grey.

    City of Endless Night Milo Hastings
  • He leapt on the parapet of the window, laughing as he leapt, and waving his sword in his hand.

    The Prisoner of Zenda Anthony Hope
  • He insisted on his ability to go, and with a companion he climbed over the parapet.

  • Marsh turned away from the water, and stood with his back to the parapet.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine
British Dictionary definitions for parapet


/ˈpærəpɪt; -ˌpɛt/
a low wall or railing along the edge of a balcony, roof, etc
Also called breastwork. a rampart, mound of sandbags, bank, etc, in front of a trench, giving protection from fire from the front
Word Origin
C16: from Italian parapetto, literally: chest-high wall, from para-² + petto, from Latin pectus breast
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
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Word Origin and History for parapet

1580s, from Middle French parapet "breastwork" (16c.), or directly from Italian parapetto, from para- "defense" (see para- (2)) + petto "breast," from Latin pectus (see pectoral (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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