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parapet

[par-uh-pit, -pet]
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noun
  1. Fortification.
    1. a defensive wall or elevation, as of earth or stone, in a fortification.
    2. an elevation raised above the main wall or rampart of a permanent fortification.
  2. any low protective wall or barrier at the edge of a balcony, roof, bridge, or the like.
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Origin of parapet

1575–85; < Italian parapetto, equivalent to para- para-2 + petto chest, breast < Latin pectus
Related formspar·a·pet·ed, adjectivepar·a·pet·less, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for parapet

parapet

noun
  1. a low wall or railing along the edge of a balcony, roof, etc
  2. Also called: breastwork a rampart, mound of sandbags, bank, etc, in front of a trench, giving protection from fire from the front
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Word Origin

C16: from Italian parapetto, literally: chest-high wall, from para- ² + petto, from Latin pectus breast
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 parapet

n.

1580s, from Middle French parapet "breastwork" (16c.), or directly from Italian parapetto, from para- "defense" (see para- (2)) + petto "breast," from Latin pectus (see pectoral (adj.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper