One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An outwork of fortifications, with two faces forming a salient angle, constructed beyond the main ditch and in front of the curtain.
rampart, defensive wall, defences, bulwark, palisade, stockade, redoubt, earthwork, outwork, bastion, parapet, battlement, blockhouse, barricade, buttress, strongholdView synonyms
- ‘Detached works called ravelins or (from their appearance) demi-lunes (half-moons) often stood out in front of the curtain between the bastions, and sometimes extra works formed an extra outer skin of fortifications.’
- ‘A ravelin is a V shaped fortification used to protect the entrance of a fort.’
- ‘Madam, we require your presence on the north-western ravelin immediately.’
Late 16th century: from French, from obsolete Italian ravellino, of unknown origin.
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