American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Plural of cheval-de-frise.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Pieces of timber traversed with spikes of iron, or of wood pointed with iron, 5 or 6 feet long, used to defend a passage, stop a breach, form an obstaele to the advance of cavalry, etc. A similar contrivance is placed on the top of a wall to prevent persons from climbing over it. Also
cheval-de-frise. See caltrop.
- n. defensive structure consisting of a movable obstacle composed of barbed wire or spikes attached to a wooden frame; used to obstruct cavalry
“The sorrow was no match for the anger, which had been carefully honed over time, made sharper with each passing year, until it stood like a chevaux-de-frise, capable of fending off even the most daunting attack.”
“Fourteen ditches lined with sword-blades and poisoned chevaux-de-frise, fourteen walls bristling with innumerable artillery and as smooth as looking-glasses, were in turn triumphantly passed by that enterprising officer.”
“In the dining room of Mrs. O'Shaughnessy's, Joshua and Ishmael completed their precariously-balanced chevaux-de-frise of saltshakers, forks, and a folded section of the newspaper, and were now angling two spoons and a much-battered sugarlump into position to create an elaborate double flip that would throw the sugar into Josh's mug of now cold tea.”
“AFTER the Battle of Germantown, Howe withdrew his whole force into Philadelphia, and some of the military preparations Washington had originally undertaken to protect the capital—the Delaware forts as well as the chevaux-de-frise and gunboats in the river—now hemmed the British in.”
“Several British vessels, including four large warships, forced their way through the lower line of chevaux-de-frise and began to bombard the fort.”
“The chevaux-de-frise were dangerous to any ships that might run against them, subjected as they would be to the batteries of Fort Mifflin on one side and those of Fort Mercer at Red Bank on the New Jersey shore.”
“Washington could see that these works had stout abattis and chevaux-de-frise and that from them, probably, a good view could be had both of the plain near the town and the inner fortifications.”
“If the enemy tried to remove these chevaux-de-frise they could be swept by artillery in the forts.”
“The destruction of Fort Mifflin was undertaken October 22 by British land batteries and by six men-of-war that came through an opening where two of the chevaux-de-frise had been pulled up.”
“The Wersgorix observed that we were busy-it could not be avoided-but we tried to conceal from them what we actually did, lest they see we were merely ringing the lesser half of Ganturath with stakes, pits, caltrops, and chevaux-de-frise.”
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