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

  • n. A cylindrical wicker basket filled with earth and stones, formerly used in building fortifications.
  • n. A hollow metal cylinder used especially in constructing dams and foundations.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A cylindrical basket or cage of wicker which was filled with earth or stones and used in fortifications and other engineering work (a precursor to the sandbag).
  • n. A woven wire mesh unit, sometimes rectangular, made from a continuous mesh panel and filled with stones sometimes coated with polyvinyl chloride.
  • n. A porous metal cylinder filled with stones and used in a variety of civil engineering contexts, especially in the construction of retaining walls, the reinforcing of steep slopes, or in the prevention of erosion in river banks.
  • n. A knickknack, objet d'art, curiosity, collectable.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A hollow cylinder of wickerwork, like a basket without a bottom. Gabions are made of various sizes, and filled with earth in building fieldworks to shelter men from an enemy's fire.
  • n. An openwork frame, as of poles, filled with stones and sunk, to assist in forming a bar dyke, etc., as in harbor improvement.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In fortification, a large basket of wickerwork constructed with stakes and osiers, or green twigs, in a cylindrical form, but without a bottom, varying in diameter from 20 to 70 inches, and in height from 33 inches to 5 or 6 feet, filled with earth, and serving to shelter men from an enemy's fire.
  • n. See the quotation.


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

French, from Italian gabbione, augmentative of gabbia, cage, from Latin cavea.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Italian gabbione, augmentative of gabbia, itself from Latin cavea.


  • A form of earth reinforcement could be undertaken using a material such as gabion mesh laid into the slope at intervals as it is backfilled.

    2.1 Retaining walls

  • Mr. Heselden protected his invention with international patents; his U.S. patent, granted in 2008, calls it a gabion.

    Owner of Segway Company Dies in Accident

  • Students may also caution that Hesco has yet to face hard times: wars and floods have ensured demand for its moneymaker, the gabion that Heselden invented with his British Coal redundancy.

    A life lesson from the late, great Jimi Heselden

  • That was shown much more spectacularly in the relish he took from inventing and making things – such as the defensive gabion "blast walls" used by armies and in flood management – and the power which selling them gave him to leave the world a better place.

    A life lesson from the late, great Jimi Heselden

  • He invented a new version of the medieval gabion – baskets filled with stone or rubble which have been adapted in modern times to line riverbanks and road cuttings.

    Jimi Heselden obituary

  • The Hesco barrier or bastion is a modern gabion used for flood control and military fortification.

    A Nightmare’s Prayer

  • The gabion walls allow some amount of air to flow through the walls, and provide a great thermal mass absorbing daytime heat, and shading the interior.

    architecture office, ho chi minh city

  • The flows are channeled safely via gabion structures to storage reservoirs or to stream courses which flow into the sea.

    Water profile of Barbados

  • B&W kitteh seemz to B in some sort ob kayj, problee a gabion bazkett.

    run - Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats - I Can Has Cheezburger?

  • During the reconstruction the site was substantially raised, requiring extensive earthworks and gabion protection on the riverside.

    ANC Daily News Briefing


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  • From Wikipedia:
    "A gabion (from Italian gabbione meaning "big cage"; from Italian gabbia and Latin cavea meaning "cage") is a cage, cylinder, or box filled with rocks, concrete, or sometimes sand and soil for use in civil engineering, road building, military applications and landscaping."

    See these employed with increasing frequency in retaining walls along roads and highways.

    July 24, 2016

  • You'll note when the poor fellow talks

    That feature the cruel public mocks.

    Dubbed "The Big Gabion"

    From the day he’d begun -

    He's smart as a basket of rocks.

    November 12, 2014

  • See also gabbions.

    October 9, 2008

  • "Wicker basket filled with earth and/or stone, used in fortifications." Found this definition in an online glossary about castles, but it was still used in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century warfare, and for all I know during World War I as well. I'm kind of surprised there's no Weirdnet definition.

    August 25, 2008