[ brest-wurk ]
See synonyms for breastwork on
  1. a defensive work, usually breast high.

Origin of breastwork

First recorded in 1635–45; breast + work

Words Nearby breastwork Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use breastwork in a sentence

  • My station was on the right of the line, where the breastwork, ending in a redoubt, was steep and high.

  • Our camp was enclosed with a solid wall of the dead—a bulwark, a breastwork, of corpses, you may say.

  • I found the reserves had thrown up a breastwork from the Ohio 348 to the Kanawha, thus inclosing the camp on the Point.

    A Virginia Scout | Hugh Pendexter
  • He was on the crest of the hill, and at every lull in the strife his men piled the loose stones into a rude breastwork.

    The Boys of '61 | Charles Carleton Coffin.
  • They move upon the run,—up to the breastwork of rails,—bearing Hancock's line to the top of the ridge,—so powerful their momentum.

    The Boys of '61 | Charles Carleton Coffin.

British Dictionary definitions for breastwork


/ (ˈbrɛstˌwɜːk) /

  1. fortifications a temporary defensive work, usually breast-high: Also called: parapet

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