Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To work better or faster than.
  • transitive verb To complete (something); work (something) out.
  • noun A minor fortification constructed beyond a main defensive position or fortification.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Work done outside, out of doors, or in the fields, as distinguished from indoor work.
  • noun In fortification, one of the minor defenses constructed in advance of the main work or enceinte.
  • noun Hence A bulwark; any defense against violence from outside.
  • To surpass in workmanship.
  • To surpass or exceed in labor, exertion, or agitation.
  • To work out or carry on to a conclusion; complete; finish.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To exceed in working; to work more or faster than.
  • noun (Fort.) A minor defense constructed beyond the main body of a work, as a ravelin, lunette, hornwork, etc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb rare To work out to a finish; to complete.
  • verb To work faster or harder than.
  • noun A minor, subsidiary fortification built beyond the main limits of fortification.

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

  • noun subsidiary defensive structure lying outside the main fortified area

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

out- +‎ work

Examples

  • When a defence of a certain Spanish outwork was resolved upon, the duke, from his rank, was chosen for the command.

    The Wits and Beaux of Society Volume 1

  • In the outwork was a sallyport corresponding to the postern of the castle, and the whole was surrounded by a strong palisade.

    Ivanhoe

  • In the outwork was a sallyport [Footnote: A sallyport is an underground passage from the outer to the inner fortifications.] corresponding to the postern of the castle, and the whole was surrounded by a strong palisade.

    Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 4

  • In the outwork was a sally-port corresponding to the postern of the castle, and the whole was surrounded by a strong palisade.

    The Literary World Seventh Reader

  • In the outwork was a sallyport corresponding to the postern of the castle, and the whole was surrounded by a strong palisade.

    Ivanhoe

  • We have destroyed the machines, and retaken the outwork, which is now held by Andrew

    In Freedom's Cause : a Story of Wallace and Bruce

  • In the outwork was a sallyport corresponding to the postern of the castle, and the whole was surrounded by a strong palisade.

    Ivanhoe. A Romance

  • In the outwork was a sallyport corresponding to the postern of the castle, and the whole was surrounded by a strong palisade.

    Ivanhoe

  • Meer Baber Beg has placed his fortress in a very respectable state of defence, quite adequate to repel the desultory inroads of his predatory neighbours; but commanded by and exposed to enfilade from the hills about it, on one of these hills he has built a tower as a kind of outwork, but it is very weak and of insignificant size.

    A Peep into Toorkisthhan

  • I should have mentioned that on the north side of the other Piers at some distance another Pier is sunk to serve as a kind of outwork to the others in breaking the Force of the Ice coming down.

    Journal of a Tour to North Carolina by William Attmore, 1787

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.