[breyk-waw-ter, -wot-er]
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Origin of breakwater

First recorded in 1715–25; break + water Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for breakwater

wharf, barrier, levee, embankment, pier

Examples from the Web for breakwater

Historical Examples of breakwater

British Dictionary definitions for breakwater


  1. Also called: mole a massive wall built out into the sea to protect a shore or harbour from the force of waves
  2. another name for groyne
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 breakwater

1721, from break (v.) + water (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

breakwater in Science


  1. An offshore barrier, such as a jetty, that protects a harbor or shore from the full impact of waves.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.