from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A wall or embankment raised as a defensive fortification; a rampart.
- n. Something serving as a defense or safeguard: "We have seen the necessity of the Union, as our bulwark against foreign danger” ( James Madison).
- n. A breakwater.
- n. The part of a ship's side that is above the upper deck. Often used in the plural.
- transitive v. To fortify with a wall, embankment, or rampart.
- transitive v. To provide defense or protection for.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A defensive wall or rampart.
- n. A defense or safeguard.
- n. A breakwater.
- n. The planking or plating along the sides of a nautical vessel above her gunwale that reduces the likelihood of seas washing over the gunwales and people being washed overboard.
- v. To fortify something with a wall or rampart.
- v. To provide protection of defense for something.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A rampart; a fortification; a bastion or outwork.
- n. That which secures against an enemy, or defends from attack; any means of defense or protection.
- n. The sides of a ship above the upper deck, usually a fencelike structure around the deck.
- transitive v. To fortify with, or as with, a rampart or wall; to secure by fortification; to protect.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Originally, a barrier formed of logs, beams, boards, hurdles, or other materials, for the obstruction of a passage or defense of a place; now, specifically, in fortification, a rampart; a mound of earth carried around a place, capable of resisting cannon-shot, and formed with bastions, curtains, etc.; a fortification.
- n. Nautical, a close barrier running around a ship or a part of it, above the level of the deck, and consisting of boarding nailed on the outside of the stanchions and timber-heads.
- n. That which protects or secures against external annoyance or injury of any kind; a screen or shelter; means of protection and safety.
- n. plural Pads or defenses to protect the limbs against the chafing of armor. Wright.
- To fortify with a bulwark or rampart; secure by a fortification; protect.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an embankment built around a space for defensive purposes
- v. defend with a bulwark
- n. a fencelike structure around a deck (usually plural)
- n. a protective structure of stone or concrete; extends from shore into the water to prevent a beach from washing away
Middle English bulwerk, from Middle Dutch bolwerk, from Middle High German bolwerc : bole, plank; see bhel-2 in Indo-European roots + werc, work (from Old High German; see werg- in Indo-European roots).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle High German, cognate with German Bollwerk, Danish bolværk, Dutch bolwerk. The first part is akin to bole ("trunk of a tree"). Cognates include boulevard (from French boulevard, from Dutch), Spanish baluarte and Italian baluardo. (Wiktionary)