from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A platform or mound of earth within a fort from which guns are fired over the parapet.
  • n. An armored protective cylinder around a revolving gun turret on a warship.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mound of earth or a platform in a fortification, on which guns are mounted to fire over the parapet.
  • n. The inside fixed trunk of a warship's gun-mounting, on which the turret revolves. It contains the hoists for shells and cordite from the shell-room and magazine.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A mound of earth or a platform in a fortification, on which guns are mounted to fire over the parapet.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The platform or breastwork of a fortification, from which cannon may be fired over the parapet instead of through embrasures.
  • n. A cylindrical armored structure built up in the interior of a war-ship and projecting above the deck.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (formerly) a mound of earth inside a fort from which heavy gun can be fired over the parapet


French, diminutive of barbe, beard; see barb1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French barbette. (Wiktionary)


  • The big naval guns, brought from the empty ships in the basin, were mounted en barbette, meaning there were not enough embrasures to protect them so the weapons were firing directly over the wall's parapet and British gunner officers hungrily watched those pieces through their telescopes.

    Sharpe's Prey

  • Germans, had a "barbette" top, which looked like the shell of a tortoise, fitted down over the chassis.

    Kelly Miller's History of the World War for Human Rights

  • She carries an obsolete "barbette" conning tower -- a six-foot affair with railed platform forward -- and our warning beam plays on the top of it as a policeman's lantern flashes on the area sneak.

    Actions and Reactions

  • _Devastation_ type of turret-ship were retained, mounted fore and aft, but instead of placing them in turrets, the turret armour was fixed to the deck, forming what is known as a "barbette," or breastwork, over the upper edge of which the gun fired.

    How Britannia Came to Rule the Waves Updated to 1900

  • The barbette or porkpie hat was a stiff band of several inches depth that went around the head with a piece of fabric wrapping underthe chin to hold it on.

    When Were Women’s Hats in Fashion? « Colleen Anderson

  • Near tank, hunders of high speed running barbette still act for defense main part.

    Mini Star | SciFi, Fantasy & Horror Collectibles

  • Also can suit to enhance range and nicety of barbette, convenience to repaire and update.

    Mini Star | SciFi, Fantasy & Horror Collectibles

  • The Theodore Roosevelt let fly at once with the big guns in her forward barbette, but the shells burst far below the

    The War in the Air

  • Gangs of moggs tugged on lines, rocking the gun carriage back and forth until it slipped onto the prepared barbette.


  • The port upper tread casing was split, the barbette was damaged so that the gun would no longer. train, and the conning tower was cracked along its after surface.

    The Past Through Tomorrow


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