from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A fortification outside a castle used to split an attacking force; composed of two faces, forming a salient angle whose gorge resembles a half-moon

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A detached work with two embankments which make a salient angle. It is raised before the curtain on the counterscarp of the place. Formerly called demilune and half-moon.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A detached triangular work in fortification, with two embankments which form a projecting angle.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • From the land side, it was only approachable by a causeway across the swamp, and this was guarded by a strong ravelin, which is the military name for an outwork erected beyond the ditch of a fortress.

    With Clive in India Or, The Beginnings of an Empire

  • I would also have you acquire a general notion of fortification; I mean so far as not to be ignorant of the terms, which you will often hear mentioned in company, such as ravelin, bastion; glacis, contrescarpe, etc.

    Letters to His Son on the Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman, 1749

  • And he laid his hand, as Drayton might have said, on that stout bastion, hornwork, ravelin, or demilune, which formed the outworks to the citadel of his purple isle of man.

    Westward Ho!

  • In fact, when I know what is meant by “mamelon” and “ravelin

    Think Progress » Pelosi and Reid say no

  • If the Tsar forbore to execute the darkest of the terroristprinces who had been caught up in his nets, Sergei Nechaev, it was perhaps because he could not decide whether it would bemore agreeable to kill him outright or bury him alive in a ravelin of the Fortress of Peter and Paul.1

    FORGE OF EMPIRES 1861-1871

  • For what dread of want or poverty that can reach or harass the student can compare with what the soldier feels, who finds himself beleaguered in some stronghold mounting guard in some ravelin or cavalier, knows that the enemy is pushing a mine towards the post where he is stationed, and cannot under any circumstances retire or fly from the imminent danger that threatens him?

    Don Quixote

  • Candia: -- but the fire from the batteries continued without cessation, till the counterscarp and ravelin between the two bastions were reduced to a heap of ruins, and the covered approaches of the Turks, in spite of the constant sorties of the besieged, were pushed so close to the outer works that the defenders could reach the pioneers employed on the galleries by thrusting at them through the palisades with the long

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 54, No. 334, August 1843

  • Temeswar, and a select body of janissaries under their _houlkiaya_ or lieutenant-general, rushed with such fury upon the ruined rampart, that though four times driven back, they at last succeeded in effecting a lodgement in the ravelin, and threw up parapets to screen themselves from the fire of the walls.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 54, No. 334, August 1843

  • Para Mor, standing on the little north bastion or ravelin, as his post of sergeant always demanded, had been crooning a ditty and carving

    John Splendid The Tale of a Poor Gentleman, and the Little Wars of Lorn

  • The first assault lasted three hours, and the Turks gained possession of the ravelin in front of the gate; so furious was the onset that the defenders sent to the Grand Master to tell him the position was untenable; they could not stand a second storming party.

    The Story of the Barbary Corsairs


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  • "A detached triangular work in fortification, with two embankments which form a projecting angle. In the figure BB is the ravelin, with A its redout, and CC its ditch. DD is the main ditch of the fortress, and E the passage giving access from the fortress to the ravelin." --CD&C

    January 30, 2012