Definition of palisade in English:



  • 1A fence of wooden stakes or iron railings fixed in the ground, forming an enclosure or defence.

    ‘at this time fortifications consisted mainly of earth banks and wooden palisades’
    • ‘Already in this phase the village was surrounded by two wooden palisades defending the upper and lower slopes.’
    • ‘Enclosed by an unbroken palisade of building, this space seemed the perfect Eden.’
    • ‘Early French St. Louis was a compact settlement, and lots were enclosed with palisades.’
    • ‘Building banks or palisades of bamboo is one defence, but each year the work has to be repeated.’
    • ‘The artist, one of Israel's two representatives at the 1999 Venice Biennale, assembled old toys and other attic memorabilia within a wooden palisade inscribed with Yiddish phrases.’
    • ‘The house was surrounded by yards and defended by a wooden palisade around the edge of the hill.’
    • ‘The town was ablaze, the wooden palisade was a now raging ring of inferno.’
    • ‘Alison Roberts, 20, from Exeter University, works on the palisade of the Iron Age settlement at Sutton Common, near Doncaster.’
    • ‘There was a timber palisade around the top, which would have contained great stone buildings to hold the garrison.’
    • ‘Some were working outside a thick palisade of wooden palings which ran circling outside the buildings.’
    • ‘The most complex center discovered so far, beneath the city of Dresden in Saxony, eastern Germany, comprises a temple surrounded by four ditches, three earthen banks and two palisades.’
    • ‘Although the British had an advantage in arms, Maori had an advantage in tactics, and their pa of earth and wooden palisades absorbed artillery shells.’
    • ‘Houses may be round, square, or beehive-shaped; in some areas, clusters of huts are enclosed in wooden palisades.’
    • ‘He looked around the village, which consisted of half a dozen mud huts and a wooden palisade with a ditch surrounding it.’
    • ‘Some had awoken already - mainly shopkeepers - and mustered gaily on the streets, some in the outer courtyard where the wooden palisades separated her father's estate from the serf lands.’
    • ‘The daimyo and their warriors also built numerous stockades, palisades, and barricades of wood.’
    • ‘The hill where they were feigning to build their wooden palisade commanded a great view of the surrounding countryside.’
    • ‘This is notably different from the one at La Joyanca, which was only about half a metre high and served as a base for a wooden palisade.’
    • ‘There were signs of an assault in the damaged wooden palisade, but the abbey itself appeared unharmed.’
    • ‘Huts, fences and palisades are often fashioned from saplings and shoots, and basketry is thus commingled with comforting notions of home, security and comfort.’
    fence, paling, enclosure, defence, barricade, stockade, fortification, bulwark
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    1. 1.1historical A strong pointed wooden stake fixed in the ground with others in a close row, used as a defence.
      • ‘The side was covered with a wooden palisade fence, with barbed wire on the top.’
      • ‘The odd white flag with the red cross of St George snaps in the breeze on a makeshift flagpole of old aerials, high above the iron palisades, as if this was the last redoubt of a race on the verge of extinction.’
      • ‘The school has already had to put up a palisade fence inside the school grounds to protect the quadrangle and has been employing a security guard to patrol when the school buildings are hired out.’
      • ‘It was a fort-looking place, nestled in a valley and surrounded by tall wooden palisades.’
      • ‘He said that he had no specific verbal or written instruction from his employers concerning the climbing of walls or palisade fences.’
      • ‘The palisade fencing which was promised to seal off the play area in the Curragh Downs estate is now in place.’
      • ‘Steel palisade fences have now been put up to stem the tide of vandalism.’
      • ‘This distinctive industry may have been tied to new timbering practices, such as posts and palisades at the town and mound centers.’
      • ‘Johannesburg City Parks has made the reserve a flash point of development, undertaking upgrades that include a new guardhouse, a borehole and a concrete palisade fence.’
      • ‘By renovating the palisade fence around the centre, we want to keep our facilities visible to the public so that locals can assist us by keeping an eye out for any unlawful activities in our yard.’
      rampart, defensive wall, defences, bulwark, stockade, redoubt, earthwork, outwork, bastion, parapet, battlement, blockhouse, barricade, buttress, stronghold
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  • 2US A line of high cliffs.

    • ‘The Palisade was once home to a forest fire lookout station, as it afforded a clear view of much of the Athabasca River Valley.’
    • ‘On top of this Palisade cliff where Palm trees sway with the ocean breeze, you will find a charming park, a mile long, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.’
    • ‘It is a rousing thing to find yourself crossing the George Washington Bridge, the skyline of Manhattan falling away as the green palisades of New Jersey surge forward.’
    • ‘Most books mark the route's end where Santa Monica Boulevard intersects Ocean Avenue, on the palisades above Santa Monica State Beach.’
    1. 2.1A ridge of high basalt cliffs that line the western side of the Hudson River, in New Jersey and in New York, beginning across from New York City in New Jersey and extending north to Newburgh in New York.


  • Enclose or provide (a building or place) with a palisade.

    ‘a palisaded earthwork once lay across the neck of the promontory’
    • ‘There are good reasons for suggesting that the pit was a grave, and that the wood was all that remained of a palisaded barrow, not unlike examples excavated in the Netherlands.’
    • ‘A banked or palisaded riverside enclosure with temporary dwellings and safe moorings for ships is probable.’
    • ‘Water infatuation is implicit in the location of many henges, while the massive palisaded enclosures at West Kennet, partly visible from Silbury, straddled the Kennet.’
    • ‘The ditch and palisaded dyke would have made it difficult for Welsh raiders to enter England, but almost impossible for them to return laden with any booty such as cattle.’
    • ‘Significantly, Fred Edwards and Hartley Fort have produced evidence for Late Woodland-Mississippian interaction and, like Aztalan in eastern Wisconsin, these sites were palisaded.’


Early 17th century: from French palissade, from Provençal palissada, from palissa paling, based on Latin palus stake.