abatis

[ab-uh-tee, -tis, uh-bat-ee, uh-bat-is]
noun, plural ab·a·tis [ab-uh-teez, uh-bat-eez] /ˈæb əˌtiz, əˈbæt iz/, ab·a·tis·es [ab-uh-tis-iz, uh-bat-uh-siz] /ˈæb əˌtɪs ɪz, əˈbæt ə sɪz/.
  1. an obstacle or barricade of trees with bent or sharpened branches directed toward an enemy.
  2. a barbed wire entanglement used as an obstacle or barricade against an enemy.

Origin of abatis

1760–70; < French; Old French abateis < Vulgar Latin *abatteticius, derivative of Old French abattre (see abate)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for abatis

abatis

abattis

noun fortifications
  1. a rampart of felled trees bound together placed with their branches outwards
  2. a barbed-wire entanglement before a position

Word Origin for abatis

C18: from French, from abattre to fell
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 abatis
n.

"defense made of felled trees," 1766, from French abatis, literally "things thrown down," from Old French abateis, from abattre "to beat down, throw down" (see abate).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper