[par-uh-pit, -pet]


  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.
any low protective wall or barrier at the edge of a balcony, roof, bridge, or the like.

Nearby words

  1. paraoperative,
  2. parapara,
  3. paraparesis,
  4. parapente,
  5. paraperitoneal hernia,
  6. paraph,
  7. paraphase amplifier,
  8. paraphasia,
  9. paraphernalia,
  10. paraphia

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

Examples from the Web for parapet

British Dictionary definitions for parapet



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

Word Origin for parapet

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



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.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper