[uh-bree; French a-bree]
noun, plural a·bris [uh-breez; French a-bree] /əˈbriz; French aˈbri/.
  1. a shelter, especially a dugout.
  2. Archaeology. a rock shelter formed by the overhang of a cliff and often containing prehistoric occupation deposits.

Origin of abri

< French, Old French, noun derivative of abrier (now obsolete or dial.) to shelter, shield, screen < Late Latin aprīcāre to warm in the sun (hence, to shield from wind, cold, etc.), verbal derivative of Latin aprīcus sunny, warmed by the sunshine; Old French b for v perhaps < Old Provençal abriar, or by construal of a- as prefix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for abris

Historical Examples of abris

  • It was a warning to all to seek the comparative safety of the abris which the town had constructed against just such an emergency.

    Aces Up

    Covington Clarke

  • Uncle Abris once more grew pale, and retreating into the parlour, came out with a glass about as large as a thimble.

  • The Americans turned and ran up the road to one of these abris, the big man leading.

  • The streets were filling with people, crowding into the Vavin Mtro station opposite and looking for the houses that were abris.

    Paris Vistas

    Helen Davenport Gibbons

  • Next beyond the abris was the latrine from which a puff of wind brought now and then a nauseous stench.

British Dictionary definitions for abris


  1. a shelter or place of refuge, esp in wartime

Word Origin for abri

French, from Latin apricum an open place
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