Definition of abatis in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈabətɪs/

noun (plural abatises)

A defence made of felled trees placed lengthwise over each other with the boughs pointing outwards.
Example sentences
  • Union soldiers completed digging a series of ditches that zigzagged forward and reached the abatis.
  • There were still labourers out there, struggling to manoeuvre an abatis into position.
  • It was a combination of towers, palisades, ditches, abatis, and caltrops to slow the attacking Gauls.


Mid 18th century: from French, literally 'felled (trees)', from Old French abatre 'to fell' (see abate).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: aba¦tis

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