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.

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