• synonyms


  1. Fortification. the inner slope or wall of the ditch surrounding a rampart.
  2. any similar steep slope.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to make into an escarp; give a steep slope to; furnish with escarps.
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Origin of escarp

1680–90; < French, Middle French escarpe < Italian scarpa < Germanic; see scarp
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for escarp

Historical Examples

  • They have no ditches, but an escarp of ten feet in the lava.

    The Life of Gordon, Volume I

    Demetrius Charles Boulger

  • Its principal use is to secure the escarp as long as possible.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • The escarp of Lunette 53 was successfully breached by this method.

  • The ladders were thrown down, but they were quickly again raised against the escarp.

    Our Soldiers

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • In fortification, a projecting turret on the top of the escarp, whence a sentry may observe the outside of the rampart.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

British Dictionary definitions for escarp


  1. fortifications the inner side of the ditch separating besiegers and besiegedCompare counterscarp
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  1. a rare word for scarp (def. 3)
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Word Origin

C17: from French escarpe; see scarp
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 escarp


"steep slope," 1680s, from French escarpe (16c.), from Italian scarpa (see scarp).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper