[bool-werk, -wawrk, buhl-]
- 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.
- to fortify or protect with a bulwark; secure by or as if by a fortification.
Origin of bulwark
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for bulwark
The German Panzers fought with suicidal ferocity, storming the hill until it was rimmed with a bulwark of bodies.The Deadly Trap Behind D-Day’s Beaches
June 5, 2014
First, however weak the court may be as a bulwark against majoritarian tyranny, it is better than no bulwark at all.Will This Man Make Gay Marriage Legal Everywhere?
Stuart Taylor, Jr.
February 22, 2014
What we most wanted in a policy was a bulwark against financial devastation from a catastrophic illness.Obamacare May Be Dangerous to Your Health
November 30, 2013
When a warrior is gone, that will be his best and only bulwark.Seamus Heaney, 1939-2013: Accessible, Yes, and Beautiful
August 30, 2013
Iran and Hezbollah, both Shiite, see Assad as a bulwark against Sunni influence.Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad is Winning
May 17, 2013
"I prythee that you will pardon me," said the knight, clutching his way along the bulwark.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
We told these chaps we were deserters from the Bulwark, 74, and begged them to help us along.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
Hector, the bulwark of Troy, had fallen, and the ruin of the city was at hand.Old Greek Folk Stories Told Anew
Josephine Preston Peabody
I returned on deck, where, leaning on the bulwark, I scanned the distance.My Double Life
When he had succeeded, he walked over to where the girl leaned on the bulwark.One Day's Courtship
- 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
- (tr) to defend or fortify with or as if with a 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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper