bulwark

[ bool-werk, -wawrk, buhl- ]
/ ˈbʊl wərk, -wɔrk, ˈbʌl- /

noun

a wall of earth or other material built for defense; rampart.
any protection against external danger, injury, or annoyance: The new dam was a bulwark against future floods.
any person or thing giving strong support or encouragement in time of need, danger, or doubt: Religion was his bulwark.
Usually bulwarks. Nautical. a solid wall enclosing the perimeter of a weather or main deck for the protection of persons or objects on deck.

verb (used with object)

to fortify or protect with a bulwark; secure by or as if by a fortification.

Nearby words

  1. bullying,
  2. bullyrag,
  3. bulnbuln,
  4. bulrush,
  5. bultmann,
  6. bulwer,
  7. bulwer-lytton,
  8. bum,
  9. bum around,
  10. bum bag

Origin of bulwark

1375–1425; late Middle English bulwerk, probably < Middle Dutch bolwerc, equivalent to bol(l)e bole1 + werk work (noun); cf. boulevard

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bulwark


British Dictionary definitions for bulwark

bulwark

/ (ˈbʊlwək) /

noun

a wall or similar structure used as a fortification; rampart
a person or thing acting as a defence against injury, annoyance, etc
(often plural) nautical a solid vertical fencelike structure along the outward sides of a deck
a breakwater or mole

verb

(tr) to defend or fortify with or as if with a bulwark

Word Origin for bulwark

C15: via Dutch from Middle High German bolwerk, from bol plank, bole 1 + werk work

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 bulwark

bulwark

n.

early 15c., from Middle Dutch bulwerke or Middle High German bolwerc, probably from bole "plank, tree trunk" (from Proto-Germanic *bul-, from PIE root *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell;" see bole) + werc "work" (see work (n.)). Figurative sense is from 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper