Definition of glacis in English:


Pronunciation: /ˈɡlasi//ˈɡlasɪs/


  • 1A bank sloping down from a fort which exposes attackers to the defenders' missiles.

    • ‘Abutting the glacis of the Acropolis at Athens is the great theatre of Dionysis.’
    • ‘On 21 May, having sapped up to the glacis of the city ramparts, which heavy bombardment had almost made untenable, Versaillais troops entered the city.’
    • ‘Its purpose was that of a glacis of an ancient castle.’
    • ‘Built in the glacis style, there is no berm but a continuous 11 m. slope from the ditch bottom to the bank top.’
    hill, hillside, hillock, bank, rise, escarpment, scarp
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  • 2A sloping piece of armour plate protecting part of a vehicle.

    • ‘The glacis plate and nose of the hull have been upgraded with the addition of passive armour and the turret has been fitted with stand-off armour.’
    • ‘If it is pushed out of alignment by the glacis plate, it will detonate the mine underneath the belly of the AFV.’
    • ‘Other changes included adding a gun shield, a searchlight, an antipersonnel round, and belly armor that extended from the lower front glacis to about the middle of the vehicle.’


Late 17th century: from French, from Old French glacier to slip, from glace ice, based on Latin glacies.