(within a fortification) a platform or mound of earth from which guns may be fired over the parapet instead of through embrasures.
Navy. an armored cylinder for protecting the lower part of a turret on a warship.

Origin of barbette

1765–75; < French, equivalent to barbe beard + -ette -ette, probably from the general metaphorical use of barbe for something which protrudes or faces outward




a female given name, form of Barbara. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for barbette

Historical Examples of barbette

  • All we have to do is to get her off, bend on a sail or two, and head her for Bonacca or Barbette.

  • Major Anderson replied with his barbette guns from the fort.

    Robert Toombs

    Pleasant A. Stovall

  • Each of these ships had a barbette armed with a 10-inch gun fore and aft.

    Famous Sea Fights

    John Richard Hale

  • Rope mantlets are used on the breeches of some of the barbette guns.

    Pictures of Southern Life

    William Howard Russell

  • With her barbette guns she sat as low in the water as a whaler.

British Dictionary definitions for barbette



(formerly) an earthen platform inside a parapet, from which heavy guns could fire over the top
an armoured cylinder below a turret on a warship that protects the revolving structure and foundation of the turret

Word Origin for barbette

C18: from French, diminutive of barbe a nun's barb 1, from a fancied similarity between the earthwork around a cannon and this part of a nun's habit
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