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

Origin of breastwork

First recorded in 1635–45; breast + work Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use breastwork in a sentence

  • The American soldiers were not allowed to return the fire, unless the Spaniards were evidently about to rush the breastworks.

    The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
  • He waited until the guerrillas were within a few rods of the improvised breastworks, then ordered the men to fire.

  • The slaves were employed on a line of breastworks which there was no adequate force to hold.

  • To guard against such a movement, Slocum was throwing up breastworks from the crest of the hill down to Rock Creek.

    The Boys of '61 | Charles Carleton Coffin.
  • Mounting the breastworks which had been thrown up at this spot, I could see the orchard where the Rebel riflemen were lying.

    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