Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

Rock of Gibraltar

See more synonyms for Rock of Gibraltar on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. Gibraltar(def 2).
Show More

Gibraltar

[ji-brawl-ter]
noun
  1. a British crown colony comprising a fortress and seaport located on a narrow promontory near the S tip of Spain. 1.875 sq. mi. (5 sq. km).
  2. Rock of.
    1. Ancient Calpe.a long, precipitous mountain nearly coextensive with this colony: one of the Pillars of Hercules. 1,396 feet (426 meters) high; 2.5 miles (4 km) long.
    2. any person or thing that has strength and endurance that can be relied on.
  3. Strait of, a strait between Europe and Africa at the Atlantic entrance to the Mediterranean. 8.5–23 miles (14–37 km) wide.
  4. any impregnable fortress or stronghold.
Show More
Related formsGi·bral·tar·i·an [ji-brawl-tair-ee-uh n, jib-rawl-] /dʒɪ brɔlˈtɛər i ən, ˌdʒɪb rɔl-/, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for rock of gibraltar

Gibraltar

noun
  1. City of Gibraltar a city on the Rock of Gibraltar, a limestone promontory at the tip of S Spain: settled by Moors in 711 and taken by Spain in 1462; ceded to Britain in 1713; a British crown colony (1830–1969), still politically associated with Britain; a naval and air base of strategic importance. Pop: 29 111 (2013 est). Area: 6.5 sq km (2.5 sq miles)Ancient name: Calpe
  2. Strait of Gibraltar a narrow strait between the S tip of Spain and the NW tip of Africa, linking the Mediterranean with the Atlantic
Show More
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 rock of gibraltar

Gibraltar

1590s, ancient Calpe, captured 710 C.E. by Saracen leader Tariq, renamed Jebel el Tarik "the Mountain of Tarik," hence the English name. A British possession since 1704. Figurative of impregnability by 1856.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

rock of gibraltar in Culture

Gibraltar

[(juh-brawl-tuhr)]

A colony of Britain on the southern coast of Spain.

Show More

Note

Located on the Rock of Gibraltar, a huge limestone mass.

Note

Spain has protested British control of Gibraltar, but the dispute has remained unsettled for years.

Note

Location of an important military base; strategically significant because it can be used to keep ships from entering or leaving the Mediterranean Sea.

Note

Its seeming impregnability as a fortress during several wars led to the saying: “solid as the Rock of Gibraltar.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.