Share this entry

abatis Line breaks: aba¦tis
Pronunciation: /ˈabətɪs/

Entry from British & World English dictionary

Definition of abatis in English:

noun (plural abatises)

historical
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.

Origin

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

Share this entry

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources