Definitions

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

  • n. An embankment of earth and rock built to prevent floods.
  • n. Chiefly British A low wall, often of sod, dividing or enclosing lands.
  • n. A barrier blocking a passage, especially for protection.
  • n. A raised causeway.
  • n. A ditch; a channel.
  • n. Geology A long mass of igneous rock that cuts across the structure of adjacent rock.
  • transitive v. To protect, enclose, or provide with a dike.
  • transitive v. To drain with dikes or ditches.
  • n. Offensive Slang Variant of dyke2.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The northern English form of ditch.
  • n. A ditch and bank running alongside each other.
  • n. A barrier of stone or earth used to hold back water and prevent flooding.
  • n. A lesbian, especially a manly or unattractive lesbian.
  • n. A body of once molten igneous rock that was injected into older rocks in a manner that crosses bedding planes.
  • v. To erect a dike.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A ditch; a channel for water made by digging.
  • n. An embankment to prevent inundations; a levee.
  • n. A wall of turf or stone.
  • n. A wall-like mass of mineral matter, usually an intrusion of igneous rocks, filling up rents or fissures in the original strata.
  • transitive v. To surround or protect with a dike or dry bank; to secure with a bank.
  • transitive v. To drain by a dike or ditch.
  • intransitive v. To work as a ditcher; to dig.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A channel for water made by digging; a ditch; a moat. See ditch.
  • n. A small pond or pool.
  • n. A ridge or bank of earth thrown up in excavating canal or a ditch; specifically, such a ridge or bank thrown up to prevent low lands from being overflowed; a continuous dam confining or restraining the waters of a stream or of the sea: as, the Netherlands are defended from the sea by dikes.
  • n. A low wall or fence of stone or turf, dividing or inclosing fields, etc. A dry dike is such a wall built without mortar. See fail-dike.
  • n. In geology, a fissure in rocks filled with material which has found its way into it while melted, or when brought by some other means into a fluid or semi-fluid condition.
  • To make a ditch; dig; delve. See dig.
  • To dig; dig out; excavate. See dig.
  • To inclose with a ditch or with ditches.
  • To furnish with a dike; inclose, restrain, or protect by an embankment: as, to dike a river; to dike a tract of land.
  • To surround with a stone wall.

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

  • v. enclose with a dike
  • n. a barrier constructed to contain the flow of water or to keep out the sea
  • n. (slang) offensive term for a lesbian who is noticeably masculine

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English dīc, trench.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English (Northern) dik, dike, from Old Norse díki 'ditch, dike'. More at and doublet of ditch. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Heavy rain can pour into the lake six times faster than it can be drained and at certain levels, the Corps of Engineers says, the dike is almost certain to fail.

    Joseph B. Treaster: Florida Lake: Could It Kill Again?

  • If their fingers slip from the hole in dike and the flood waters pour in, we may be left with no functioning schools, not just poorly funded and performing ones.

    Alan Singer: No Longer Waiting for "Superman"

  • Rush Limbaugh referred - used the word dike when talking about flooding in North Dakota.

    NewsBusters.org - Exposing Liberal Media Bias

  • A fissure in the rock affords convenient space for a flight of steps descending gradually to the "dike" -- the local name for the embankment made at the foot of the cliffs to keep the Loire in its bed, and serve as a causeway for the highroad from

    La Grenadiere

  • But numbers and political realities are one thing, the heat Steele took from GOP hardliners who like things just the way they are, and think that the way to shore up the floodwaters is to keep sticking there fingers in the hole in the dike is another.

    Michael Steele the Magically Disappearing Negro

  • The property is bisected by an immense straight dike, which is called the Middle Wash, and which is so sluggish, so straight, so ugly, and so deep, as to impress the mind of a stranger with the ideas of suicide.

    John Caldigate

  • You have heard from folks from North Dakota and Minnesota that this river can break a dike, but it cannot break the human spirit.

    President Remarks In Briefing On Flood Damage In Nd

  • However, Shuster raged to guests Matt Lewis and Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis: "Rush Limbaugh referred, used the word dike when talking about flooding in North Dakota.

    MRC Latest Headlines

  • Parallel to the steps leading up the dike was a yellow strip of metal with arrows to indicate the levels of past floods.

    Floating in My Mother’s Palm

  • Engineers are also thinking of raising the dike, which is up to 25 feet tall; while it held against the floods, some mud splashed over the top.

    Free Internet Press

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